By Christian DiMartino
DreamWorks has always been in Pixar’s shadow, which is a shame really, because on an occasion, DreamWorks can deliver. But yet from time to time, it seems as if DreamWorks recycles things from Disney.
I am one of five people who likes Shark Tale, but it came out a year after Finding Nemo. Hmm… I am also one of five people who likes Bee Movie. Pixar made A Bug’s Life some years before it. Hmm… Now DreamWorks has brought us Home, and it has a somewhat similar premise to Lilo & Stitch. I have never even seen that movie, but hmmm…
Home is visually appealing and features some good voice work, but yet it feels familiar and lacks humor. Well, it has some somewhat funny elements, but for the most part, it felt pretty iffy.
Jim Parsons, who I have never really been a fan of, is well suited as Oh, a goofy purple alien (he comes from a species called the Boovs). He is named Oh because every time someone sees him, they say something like, “Oh God, this guy again.”
The Boovs take over planet Earth or something, and send the majority of the humans away. Oh wants to throw a party, and when he tries to invite everyone, he accidentally sends an invite to everyone, including their enemy. So soon Oh is on the run.
He soon runs into a teen named Tip (voiced by Rihanna, much better here than she was in Battleship, if that says anything). Tip’s mother (Jennifer Lopez) is MIA. Tip and Oh begin hating each other, but he agrees to help her find her mother, and then… I think you know where it goes from there.
Steve Martin is funny as the leader of the Boovs. It isn’t a boring film, and it features a few interesting ideas (the Boovs change colors depending on their mood). But yet Home never really brings it home. DreamWorks needs another film like Shrek. Something that is funny and clever, while having a giant heart and all. This film wants to do so, but it only succeeds in a few instances.
I never laughed very much. Parsons fits the role well and all, but none of this material really sings. Also, there is no need for the Rihanna songs. I like her, don’t get me wrong. But when I see things like this (or when Trey Songz played pool set to that “2 Reasons” song in that crappy Texas Chainsaw movie), it just feels a bit vain. Also, Jennifer Lopez and Rihanna as mother and daughter? Pa-lease.
I’m probably nitpicking here. The kids will probably eat it up. But in a year that features Inside Out and Shaun the Sheep Movie, you could definitely do better.