Rating: 3/5 stars (Three Stars)
Voice Cast: Dane Cook, Stacy Keach, Priyanka Chopra, Brad Garrett, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Roger Craig Smith, John Cleese, Carlos Alazraqui
Director: Klay Hall
What’s Good: Disney Toon captures the triumph of the underdog with gloss in the ‘need for speed’ way.
What’s Bad: The film lacks the beauty of Pixar films and comes with a thwarted message!
Loo break: If you absolutely have to!
Watch or Not?: Planes is definitely not a film that will find a place to harbor in your heart. However, with its laboriously concocted tale which gives you yet another underdog to cheer for, it manages to be an entertaining feat. There are good planes and bad planes here, but this one is quite a watch for the thrilling races and the enjoyable camaraderie between its characters.
A cropduster wants to surpass his limitations and try his hand at racing. Defying what he was made to do, the plane enrolls himself in a swanky race. Designed to spray fertilizers over crops, it is taking on the mighty for it when the plane is faced with the best racers in the world. The competition has the chance of him proving to the world that he is made for greater things in life. Overcoming his fear of heights, Dusty trains himself under Skipper ( a former Pilot at the Air Force) and takes on the achievers.
In order to win the race, he has to face many adversities – heartbreak, bad altitude, villains – but does he manage to push the envelope and realize his dream to the fullest? Watch out Planes to understand the value of following your heart and passion!
Planes Review: Script Analysis
Propagated as a level above Cars, Planes doesn’t really ooze out a complicated story. There is a lack of emotional resonance in the plot of this film with a rather tired plot. Not only does the story seem stale, its retelling too, lacks innovation and cleverness. A cropduster who dreams greater than he is designed to, enrolls himself in a racing competition. His aides are quick and the chemistry between the characters in fine. Especially the lovability of Dottie syncs well into the story. There are too many sequences in the film where you’ll find yourself smitten by the people…oops…planes!
The thing about Disney Films remains that they never fail to render soul to their stories. Even when the movie lacks in the graphics department, with blocky figures that will remind you more of cartoon channels on your television sets and not the films that demand a theatre watch – it isn’t exemplary as the magic never feels short!
El Chupacabra with his typical Spanish accent woos his Lady love Rochelle in Latino style, and perhaps provides the film’s most impeccable comic moments, mostly the amusing redoing of the hit track Love Machine! There are gags which adults will find offensive and stereotypical and younger audiences will simply crack up to. There an instance, where the virtuous ‘hero’ saves a Brit plane who emotionally retorts saying, “I don’t cry. I am British!” Though initially these gags are absolutely missing, they move in a little later with their color and vigor, providing the much desired amusing touch to the whole affair.
The Indian plane Ishani who becomes Dusty’s apparent love interest lacks the needed screen space to develop into something fascinating. The love trip of planes with A.R Rahman’s music ticking off in the background did not have enough meat to earn praises! At places, the film’s gags might stink of repetitiveness, mostly as the karmic connection joke about tractors is lifted straight out of Cars!
I might point out to myriad flaws of every shade in this film and yet, one doesn’t go in for a Disney venture for animated excellence or an enthralling story. We all go to please the child inside us and like Cars and its sequel, the Disney wheels leave you with a smile yet another time.
Planes Review: Character Performances
Dane Cook adds vivaciousness and beauty to Dusty and mostly with Teri Hatcher and Stacy Keach who play Dotty and Skipper, the modulation will have you attention entrapped! However, it is Carlos Alazraqui, whose detailing of the funny character causes you to stay utterly amused. Priyanka Chopra’s diction is too anglicized and barely sounds Indian! It’s quite a surprise the lady manages any Hindi film at all with that pronunciation.
Planes Review: Direction, Screenplay and Music
Klay Hall brings to the screens – a David and Goliath story of sorts without any airs or fuss. He keeps the narrative, simple and without hitches. There is a good guy, an overachieving baddie, a virtuous lady love who has the hero smitten but at first roots for the baddie and then the goodie! It’s all seen and done with so many times before that you are more fluent with the next move than its characters! The screenplay definitely lacks the creative zest and innovative vibrancy but the director packs it handsomely with feel good sweetness that the flaws seem relatively shrunken.
Planes Review: The Last Word
Lacking wild freshness or originality in its script or presentation, Planes isn’t wonderful or extraordinary. But it somehow still manages to juggle between reaching the cockles of your heart and keeping the smile intact on your face. I am going with a 3/5 for this one. It isn’t as great as the Pixar range but it is nevertheless, quite a warm entertaining film!
Planes releases on 23rd August, 2013.
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