From the animated tale most of you did not see last year comes the animated tale most of you will not see this year. It’s Planes: Fire And Rescue!
Dane Cook is back as the voice of Dusty Crophopper – the crop duster plane who always wanted to go fast, and became a famous, world champion racing plane (that’s what you missed in Planes).
However, Dusty’s racing career is put in jeopardy when a key component of his engine breaks down and the replacement part may never be found (you can’t just sign him up for Tommy John surgery, this is more serious).
With damage that might force him into retirement, our favorite racer decides to do something more important with his life.
It becomes painfully obvious his airport needs a better fire department, so Dusty volunteers to learn how to become a fireman (or fireplane, I guess that’s what you would call it).
Does Dusty have what it takes to fly in when others are flying out?
It’s very admirable the people behind Planes: Fire And Rescue want to make a movie honoring first responders, firefighters, and more. However, if you truly want to honor them, make a better movie.
Planes: Fire And Rescue is a schizophrenic film always trying to figure out if it will be a comedy or a drama or a kids film.
It’s never silly enough to appeal to the youngest of kids.
It’s too dark, dangerous and intense for those young kids to be able to handle the emotion and drama.
And, it’s never clever enough to be a movie that appeals to adults.
Writer Jeffrey Howard and director Roberts Gannaway give us a very bland and forgettable picture. The comedy is flat and predictable as we have all of the typical cliché stories about the girl crushing on the reluctant object of her affection, the hero trying to overcome an insurmountable obstacle, secrets that shaped our characters’ personalities, and the big moment of triumph (complete with rousing music and a soundtrack Disney wants you to download immediately).
However, the biggest shock in Planes: Fire And Rescue is how inappropriate it is for the smaller kids who are most likely to be interested in seeing the silly, talking planes. What they get is a harrowing movie about planes facing life and death in quite stark and memorable ways, and maybe a few nightmares to along with that popcorn you bought them.
Planes: Fire And Rescue needs more fun, but would that be appropriate for such a serious subject?
Planes: Fire and Rescue is rated PG for action and some peril.