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Planes Review


Director: Klay Hall.

Cast: Dane Cook, Stacy Keach, Teri Hatcher, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Brad Garrett, John Cleese.

Certificate: U.

Running Time: 91 minutes.

Synopsis: The crop dusting plane, Dusty (Dane Cook), has big dreams of becoming a race flyer but doesn’t have the wings or engine for it. With the help of a war veteran mentor, he attempts to join a race which takes place around the world. 

Clearly Disney couldn’t get Owen Wilson to reprise his role of Lightning McQueen in a third CARS installment and so decided to create a copy of the film under the name of PLANES. The promise of a 3D experience flight film may sound exciting and have the ability to shift more tickets, but it is all ultimately beyond disappointing.

The humour within is so pointless it borders on pathetic. Yes, children will enjoy it, but does that justify the over-sexualising of vehicles, insensitive stereotypes and ridiculous war veteran scandals? No, it doesn’t, and nor does the film offer anything positive or interesting to outweigh its flaws. While the script and characters seem to have been written overnight, the visuals are quite impressive and it’s evident that a considerable amount of time has been put into the look of the film. However, if this weren’t an animated film, it would be easy to confuse it with a 90 minute amateur improv class.

It was insulting enough when the Italian car in CARS was made fun of for his accent, but in PLANES more nationalities, accents and countries are made fun of in the most stereotypical and unfunny ways. The French are seductresses, the Indian plane doesn’t eat beef, the Spanish plane acts like he’s Antonio Banderas and the British plane has no emotions – what an original idea to teach children. Although the goal of the film is to inspire and teach the audience that we can be whatever we want, most children will probably walk out thinking all Germans name their children Franz and that they are in general very chubby and angry.

Luckily, there are moments where it is easy to get behind Dusty Crophopper’s – voiced by a mundane Dane Cook – quest to become a winner. There will be cheering and rooting for the underdog, but the ability to engage the audience in Dusty’s dream is the only thing PLANES has done right. Too much time is spent on the land and roads, which would be like having a film called BOATS play out in the Sahara. PLANES disappoints on too many levels to justify a recommendation, even if children may enjoy the 90 minutes of silliness. Supposedly an extension of CARS, instead of extending the film into the skies, its wings remain firmly on the ground.

PLANES is released in UK cinemas on Friday August 16th.1star


Isra has probably seen one too many movies and has serious issues with differentiating between reality and film - which is why her phone number starts with 555. She tries to be intellectual and claims to enjoy German and Swedish film, but in reality anything with a pretty boy in it will suffice.

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