HomeDirector: Tim Johnson.

Cast: Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Steve Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Matt Jones.

Certificate: U

Running Time: 94 minutes

Synopsis: The Boov have taken over Earth in order to escape their greatest enemy. But when the aptly named Oh (Parsons) invites the enemy to his housewarming party, he becomes a fugitive from his own kind. His only hope is to team up with human girl Gratuity (Rihanna), and help her find her mother.

Recall when it seemed like Dreamworks gave a damn? They honestly used to put effort into their films. I swear. ANTZ was even better than Pixar’s A BUG’S LIFE and SHREK was all kinds of hilarious. Then there came an unstoppable barrage of sequels, spin-offs, films about snails, and now the very bottom of the barrel, HOME. A hideous animated monstrosity on every level with very little charm, humour, or anything resembling competence.

The most interesting aspects of the story, involving the invasion of Earth, are glossed over in quick narration by the incredibly annoying Oh. Sure, he’s supposed to be annoying, but he and all his kind (for some reason) speak English, but badly. They just love to be grammatically incorrect, using adjective instead of verbs, and past tense instead of present. It’s stupidity like this that takes the place of any effort or character development on the writers’ behalf. Perhaps it was meant to be cute, but instead it’s a film filled with Jar Jar Binks awfulness.

Such annoyance unfortunately leaks into vocal performances too. Parsons constantly sounds as though he trying everything in his power not to trip over the feckless script, and all the quirky mistakes sound forced and inorganic. He’s not the worst thing about the cast however. Steve Martin manages to disguise himself enough to avoid any embarrassment until the end credit, but it’s shameful none the less. Most ridiculous of all, and saddening, is the casting of Rihanna as a young girl. Her voice is raspier than that of her mother’s (Lopez), and it stinks of nothing but a studio forcing in a big name, no matter what.

None of this is of any concern to us though, as the story itself is utter tripe. Once again all effort has been avoided, thanks to cheap story shortcuts, such as a piece of alien technology doing whatever needs to be done to get our characters out of their current jam. The humour also fails to attach on any level, and rests solely on aliens mistaking human ways (they eat nuts, but the metal kind! LOL), and sometimes they make references to popular culture that is already dated. When in doubt, it uses very old jokes, such as the leader (Martin) telling a subordinate to shut up before repeating their exact idea as one of his own. Marvelous

The film also looks so bland and empty. The short, ALMOST HOME, which was probably used as a test for the movie, is  filled with interesting creatures and locations. They are all absent here. Instead we spend a lot of time on very empty spaceships, or inside a flying car, while characters all look the same. This must have been squeezing out every penny for Rihanna. In order to try and convince us the film is alive, a pop soundtrack is slapped over most scenes and may as well have a picture of the OST and ordering information pop up across the bottom of the screen.

HOME is unfunny, unlikable, unoriginal, bland, and just an absolute bore. Worst of all though, it plays the whole “family is everything” card too hard. I respect this is a family film, but when a line of dialogue says “You don’t have family? No wonder you’re selfish,” the film even becomes a bit hateful. For a film that wants to be about family, the truth is all it wants to do is suck money from families. Many will defend it as a kid’s movie, but without having met them, I can assure you your children deserve better than this. THE TALE OF PRINCESS KAGUYA is released on the same day, show your child some respect and treat them to that instead.

[usr=1]HOME is released in cinemas on 20th March.