Synopsis – Oh, an alien on the run from his own people, lands on Earth and makes friends with the adventurous Tip, who is on a quest of her own.
My Take – Dreamworks Animation has been in a downfall for a while now, sparing How to Train Your Dragon series, every film from the studio have failed in exciting the audience & the critics alike. Frankly, compared to what Disney has been churning out (except Frozen of course), Dreamworks have been providing us quality films especially the unfairly rejected Rise of the Guardians (2012) & Turbo (2013). Even the much anticipated Penguins of Madagascar (2014) couldn’t repeat the magic of the trilogy, OK I agree that movie wasn’t good. Between all this commotion, they have another film releasing with literally no hype or hullah, despite the presence of some known stars in it. The story follows Oh (Jim Parsons best known as Sheldon from The Big Bank Theory) – a disastrously clumsy member of the Boov race led by Smek (Steve Martin), who come to earth and displace its human population in order to make the planet their own hiding place. The Boov, best known for their cowardly attributes, are on the run from a formidable-looking enemy, but when Oh invites everyone to his house-warming party, he accidentally sends the E-Invite to the entire galaxy. Becoming public enemy #1, Oh goes on the run from his own people, hoping to find escape in Antarctica, after fantasizing about a group hug with a bunch of penguins! However, Oh bumps into Tip (Rihanna), a young girl who has managed to elude the Boov invaders whilst searching for her mother (Jennifer Lopez).
The two social misfits team up, and through their amazing adventures, discover the meaning of finding Home. The opening ten minutes of Home promise a fantastic premise which is utterly engrossing – the idea that the human population could so easily be ejected from their own home into a land of ice cream and picket fences, whilst the invading alien force sets up shop is genius. A truly sci-fi animation caper would be greatly appreciated across all ages, and the scope for imagination is enormous. However, where the story journeys to is a little flat in comparison, relying on a typical buddy-road-trip formula with added modifications – such as a car completely transformed by items you would find in a grocery story (there is even a lottery-ticket dispenser, how awesome would that be?). I was fortunate enough to see a early screening of this film and I was quite surprised! The film is a delight to watch! There were so many laugh out loud moments thanks to the slapstick comedy which is just pitch-perfect! Some of the characters are excellently developed – in particular Captain Smek (voiced by the legend Steve Martin), whose firm leadership of the Boov people is undermined by his ridiculous fascination with human artifacts (such as bubble-wrap and a wheel-barrow). Jim Parsons delivers a wonderful vocal-performance as Oh, in particular a scene where he involuntarily dances along to human pop-music, which proves Dreamworks can still provide animated gold. Color is used with splendid ferociousness, especially the Boov who change color when feeling different emotions.
The visual depth is not only great to watch, it also adds pathos to their characters in an ingenious way.The music will appeal to the younger generations, and acts as a sales pitch for both Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez, whose songs populate the movie like an everlasting bubble machine of pop-tastic ooze. Although, on balance, the original music which is provided by Lorne Balfe creates some entrancing and moving moments in the film, with its enriched emotive score. The voice acting is overall great; Parsons is as geeky here as he is as Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory, while Steve Martin is hilarious. What surprised me most, is Rihanna; I hope she gets more voice acting rolls in the future. This is one big name star with a lot of promise in this field. Jennifer Lopez doesn’t have much to do. I think everyone with a family and even adults need to get up and see this movie. The morals are good; there is such a thing about being too positive or negative, you have to balance the two, take a chance and have some faith and hope. I learned a thing or two from this film, you could too. On the whole, ‘Home’ is a wonderfully imaginative and genuinely funny film which proves Dreamworks can still compete in the razor-sharp leagues of animation. While the plot may at times seem cliched, this is still a hugely enjoyable family film that lands a lot of laughs, and boasts a bunch of bubbly & colorful brilliance.
Director – Tim Johnson
Rated – PG
Run Time – 94 minutes