Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Adorable And Predictable, Home Is Fun!

The Good: Incredible animation, Decent voice performances
The Bad: Entirely predictable character arcs and plot, Overbearing soundtrack
The Basics: A fun animated film, Home is a very basic mismatch buddy comedy featuring a girl and an alien on parallel quests to find mom and save the Earth!

As a reviewer who has pretty straightforward standards, it is hard for films to overwhelm me with style; I'm one who looks for substance in all of the films I review. So, when my wife encouraged me to watch Home, I understood her enthusiasm, but I did not share her intense praise of the movie. Home is good; the animation is absolutely amazing and it begs to be seen on a giant screen. The voicework in Home is competent and it has a couple of good lines in it.

But, Home is also painfully predictable and utterly formulaic. And the soundtrack to Home blasts out in the most obtrusive way. Anyone who doesn't recognize Rihanna from her voice work as the female lead of Home will certainly recognize how the soundtrack is packed with her songs. And, despite being only 94 minutes, Home is so packed with stuff that it feels much longer.

The Boov are the most cowardly race in the galaxy, fleeing from planet to planet as they are pursued by the Gorg. When the Boov find and settle on Earth, the unappreciated Oh finds that his excitement for having a new home is not shared by his brethren. They do not want to come to his party or be around him any more on Earth than they did on the ship headed toward Earth. The last human not to be relocated to Australia is the seventh grader Tip, a young woman who has remained hidden in her apartment with her cat, Pig. But when one of the Boov finds her place, she flees. Unfortunately for Oh, his attempt to get his friend Kyle to come to his housewarming party results in his e-vite being sent out into the galaxy, providing the Gorg with a homing beacon, should the e-vite reach their massive ship.

Oh and Tip meet while on the run from the Boov authorities and Oh agrees to help Tip find her mom, after he gets to Paris to cancel the e-vite before it reaches the Gorg. They begin a transatlantic flight in Tip's car, which has been modified by Oh into a beverage-powered flying car. On their way, they form an unlikely friendship and Oh learns how to stand up to Captain Smek and the Boov who want to arrest him. As well, Oh learns the value of keeping his word and he bonds with Tip.

Home is That Kind Of Story, with a pretty obvious moral to it and the plot and themes are not enough to keep adults engaged. Fortunately, Oh is voiced by Jim Parsons and he is given a number of lines that are amusing, mostly based on grammatical errors or non-sequitors. Parsons is articulate and expressive as Oh, which helps carry most of the movie. The film is dominated by Parsons and Rihanna, who voices Tip. Rihanna is fine as Tip, though the role is hardly challenging and does not require her to be overly expressive.

The cast is rounded out by Steve Martin and Jennifer Lopez and their parts break up the occasional auditory monotony of Parson's delivery and Rihanna's music with very different vocal performances.

The vocal performances do not make the characters any more audacious or original or the plotting of the film any more impressive for the way Home progresses. On those fronts, Home is an incredibly basic children's movie. Is it well-made? Yes. But it is still incredibly basic on every other level, making it a much harder sell to a wider audience.

For other animated films, please check out my reviews of:
The Lego Movie


For other movie reviews, please check out my Film Review Index Page for a complete, organized listing!

© 2015 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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