I approached the movie ‘Home’ with expectations of mediocrity. Aside from ‘Lilo & Stitch’, the majority of movies featuring animated aliens have faltered; ‘Aliens In The Attic’, ‘Planet 51’ and more recently ‘Escape From Planet Earth’, to name a few. With DreamWorks pushing the release of this film back several months, more often than not a sign of trouble, I was ready for another movie miss.
‘Home’ centres around an alien named Oh, from a race known as the Boov, famous for their talents in the field of escape. Oh meets a young girl called Gratuity Tucci A.K.A Tip, who is looking for her mother. The two characters find themselves requiring one another’s help, and together they go on an adventure to find Tip’s missing mother.
My biggest issue with the film was probably in its approach to elements of comedy . It was juvenile at times and would dive low to scatological jokes a bit too often for my taste. I appreciate that more complex jokes may be lost on younger audiences, but you can still make a decent kid-friendly film without such low-brow humour. The plot was also fairly thin and predictable; once you understand the circumstances of the movie, you can pretty easily figure out where it is heading. Even younger audiences may find that the movie drags on a bit longer than desired and become disengaged with the various converging storylines.
The movie does have plenty of positives however, with some of the humour working very well. Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) was a perfect casting choice as the voice of the alien Oh. He fit that character so well and although the dialogue sometimes got too silly, he played it well on the whole. Legendary comic actor Steve Martin offers his voice, as does Jennifer Lopez, but star billing has to go to pop princess Rihanna, with her first foray into the world of film overshadowing pretty much everything about this production.
The visuals may not have been on par with the ‘How To Train Your Dragon’ franchise, but it still had quite a few visually appealing scenes. One of the interesting things about the Boov is that their skin changes colour depending on their mood. They also don’t have a complete grasp of the English language and I liked that. It was an interesting aspect to the movie, one which made it stand out for me in a positive manner. Despite their inability to speak fluent English, their point was always clear and aided by the transformative nature of their appearance.
Overall, the film was rather enjoyable. ‘Home’ is definitely aiming for the younger audience with its humour, but it has enough heart that parents can enjoy it as well – what more can you ask for? It may not be Oscar worthy but I think you can walk out of the movie satisfied and adequately entertained. ‘Home’ certainly had opportunities to be better, but it’s worth the cinema trip with the kids.
DIRECTOR: TIM JOHNSON
STARRING: RIHANNA, JIM PARSONS