According to film critics, 'Planes' could very well be the worse Pixar film to date, ruining the company's once glowing reputation as the animators who could do no wrong
Planes is the latest animated feature from Disney-owned animators Pixar. Set in the same anthropomorphic world as previous Pixar hits Cars and Cars 2, the new film takes to the skies to see this animated world from above, but is is a world that we want or need to see? If the critical reception for the film so far is anything to go by, then no, we don't need or want this latest Pixar film at all.
Dane Cook lends his voice to lead character Dusty Crophopper
With a measly 27% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the film has been bemoaned by critics for it's over reliance on style over substance, and whilst the bigest selling point of recent Pixar films such as Up! and Wall-E has been it's heart, Planes is almost completely lacking in this quality and instead relies on bright colours and slick animation to ensure it has the younger viewers distracted. Still, with 27% it is probably the highest rated Dane Cook film to date, so it isn't all bad news for the film.
What critics have been mostly disparaging of has been the simplicity of the plot and the glaring obviousness of where the story heads. Neil Genzlinger's review for the New York Times comments that, "for the most part" Planes is "content to imitate rather than innovate, presumably hoping to reap a respectable fraction of the box office numbers of Cars and Cars 2," which is a sentiment shared by many others who have seen advanced screenings of the film. The Los Angeles Times' Betsy Sharkey meanwhile wrote, "As with Cars, the world of Planes feels safe. A little too safe, perhaps."
It has been mostly negative feedback greeting Planes so far, but not everyone has thoroughly damned the film on the spot, as some have recognised the young target audience and the limited budget given to the film's producers to quickly make a rushed summer blockbuster. Lou Lumenick of the New York Post said in his review that the film was a "charmingly modest low-budget spin-off...that provides more thrills and laughs for young children and their parents than many of its more elaborate brethren."
Elsewhere, Bruce Demara of the Toronto Star singled out the visual effects of the film as the main highlight, and although he mentioned that the plot was "rather pedestrian" and "the humour mostly lame," he commended the visuals of the film as being the "stand out experience" of the whole thing. But for most critics, the visuals just weren't enough to save the film from a thorough rinsing.
Planes reached cinemas on 8 August, hoping to reign supreme in the weekend box office; a task that may be much harder following the first round of reviews. The film stars Dane Cook, Teri Hatcher, Stacy Keach and Val Kilmer and was directed by Klay Hall.
Val Kilmer revisits his Top Gun days for Planes