February is not the most popular time to release films for children since school is in session, but parents can take children to “Escape from Planet Earth” this President’s Day. It is a basic family film that even young children can enjoy, though it lacks the witty jokes for parents that are so common in modern animation. It is nothing special, but you could do far worse.
Scorch (Brendan Fraser) and Gary (Rob Corddry) Supernova are alien brothers that work around the universe being heroes, though only Scorch gets the credit on their home planet Baab because he’s the muscle of the partnership and Gary is the brain. His wife Kira (Sarah Jessica Parker) appreciates him, but even his own son Kip (Jonathan Morgan Heit) looks up to Scorch. Their differences break up their partnership, which leads Scorch to attempt a rescue mission alone on Earth. He is captured at Area 51 by General Shanker (William Shatner), so Gary attempts to save him. Finding himself trapped as well, Gary befriends fellow alien inmates (Jane Lynch, George Lopez, and Craig Robinson) as he works to free them all. Meanwhile, Shanker is partnering with the Supernovas’ boss Lena (Jessica Alba).
“Escape from Planet Earth” emphasizes family, both in love and teamwork. It suggests family will always be there for each other, but it also gives a refreshing emphasis on family members going beyond expectations and surprising each other. In this way, it is reminiscent of the very fun first “Spy Kids.” It makes for a pleasant family bonding film despite quarrels, though it isn’t wholly unique.
It is appropriate for young children, but anyone older than twelve will probably find it too simple. My five-year-old laughed out loud quite a few times, so that is all that truly mattered for me. “Escape from Planet Earth” was satisfying enough for me without being too immature or stupid that I could appreciate sitting there to hear my child’s laughter.
Rating for “Escape from Planet Earth:” B-
For more information on this film or to view its trailer, click here.
I don’t recommend 3-D for young children, but “Escape from Planet Earth” is playing regularly at Arena Grand, Starplex Westpointe, and many others. For showtimes, click here.