Everyone involved with Planes wants to impress upon the audience and the potential ticketbuyers how this is an extension of the Cars world, even prominently displaying a World of Cars logo in the opening credits, but do you really want to tie yourself so closely to the least regarded movies in the Pixar library?
Dane Cook provides the voice of Dusty – a cropduster plane who dreams of being a racer! He has been training for an open tryout to make the Wings Across The Globe race, but no one really thinks he will qualify, no matter how hard he works with Chug the Fuel truck (voice by Brad Garrett) and Dottie the Forklift and mechanic (Teri Hatcher).
Of course, Dusty won’t let the naysayers get him down, and, when he qualifies for the race, he has to confront his fear of heights, the greatest racers in the world and some nefarious villains who will try to win at any cost.
Can Dusty win?
Planes is plain and vanilla. Director Klay Hall and writer Jeffrey Howard are sticking to the formula with the lovable underdog, an unlikely romantic pairing, relying on your pals to overcome adversity and a whole host of goofy actions to keep kids laughing, but we have seen it all before, and done better. Even when they try to add depth to Planes by bringing one character’s past and veracity into question, it strikes the wrong tone and makes you wonder how this was supposed to make the movie better or more memorable.
What makes Planes so hard to review is the blandness of it all. It’s not a horrible movie, and only features a couple questionable moments that might frighten parents (like Dusty having to deal with the possible vasectomy of his cropdusting equipment). We get the requisite voice acting appearances by various famous stars, and a few puns, but Planes is an easily forgotten movie.
If you saw Turbo, Planes will seem very familiar. They were even giving kids Turbo 3-D glasses at the movie, which will leave those tykes utterly confused for the rest of their lives.
Planes is rated PG for some mild action and rude humor