REVIEW — “Planes: Fire & Rescue”
What does “Planes:Fire & Rescue” have in common with “Transformers:Age of Extinction”? Both exist solely as commercials with entertainment resigned to a nagging afterthought. Both are also an hour too long.
When Pixar released the original “Cars” back in 2006 they probably didn’t realize what a merchandizing powerhouse they had created. Disney had just aquired the animation company, and as the dollars from toy sales came rolling in Pixar was pressured to fasttrack their first sequel. This was the first time story took a backseat at Pixar and “Cars 2” was panned by critics. Unfortunately(?) the toy sales spiked again and the series was extended by the feature length commercial spinoff “Planes.”
“Planes:Fire & Rescue” is the latest fillet off their cashcow. The story is about as simple as you would expect, perhaps more so. Characters are annoying, gags fall flat, and you begin to wonder who is responsible for such a generic screenplay. A quick check on IMDB shows that the only screenwriter listed claims responsibility for just the character names!
The story revolves around Dusty getting what is equivalent to a debilitating disease. He’ll never be able to race again. A handy “suspense light” is installed, so whenever he is going too fast, it can blink, letting all the little kids in the audience know they should be worried on cue. The stabs at adult humor are jarringly sexual in nature, apparently because innuendo is easiest to write. One female plane puts her ponton around another plane and states “Yes, they’re real.” Later, an elderly RV couple comments on how they “Wore out their tire treads during the honeymoon.”
If there’s any upside to this film, it’s the animation. Apart from the harshly edited opening sequence, the visuals are quite beautiful. The 3D is surprisingly good, and actually enhances some scenes. It’s a shame they didn’t put half as much effort into the script as the did to the animation.
2.5 out of 5 Stars