Escape From Planet Earth

Escape From Planet Earth

Rated PG, 89 min. Directed by Cal Brunker. Starring Brendan Fraser, Rob Corddry, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Alba, Jane Lynch, Jonathan Morgan Heit, Ricky Gervais, William Shatner, George Lopez, Jane Lynch, Craig Robinson, Sofía Vergara.

REVIEWED By Louis Black, Fri., Feb. 22, 2013

Scorch Supernova (Fraser), the superhero of the planet Baab, rescues babies and conquers bad guys. In this, he is aided by his brother, the nerdier but brilliant Gary Supernova (Corddry), who is the brains to Scorch’s superbrawn. When they receive a distress signal from Earth, Gary suggests they should plan carefully before responding. Scorch agrees but nevertheless makes plans to move full speed ahead, even though no aliens have ever returned from their visits to planet Earth. The two brothers argue, and Gary quits only to have Scorch fire him. Scorch recklessly heads to the Earth – a dark hole in the universe. Landing in Area 51, Scorch is taken prisoner by the evil leader General Shanker (Shatner). Routinely, Shanker lures aliens into traps so he can cull their technology in order to make his fortune.

Other aliens imprisoned at the time include Thurman (Lopez), Io (Lynch), and Doc (Robinson), who are there mostly to provide comic relief. Bravely and foolishly, Gary takes off to save his brother, and things accelerate even further when Gary’s wife Kira (Parker) and son Kip (Heit) set out to rescue Gary, who not only fails to rescue Scorch, but is himself imprisoned.

This movie is a mess: It keeps doubling back on itself – a twisting pretzel of a plot that doesn’t really make sense. It feels thrown together, and the motivations make as little sense as the actions. The humor is of the variety that runs things up the flagpole and then hoists them even higher. The romances are strange, the aliens typical, and the evil Hazmats predictable. The 3-D is squandered! It’s more unnoticeable and mundane than imaginative. The best thing I can say about Escape From Planet Earth is that I didn’t end up hating it as much as I thought I was going to during the first half. I hated it … but just not as much as I expected.

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