Planet 51 (2009/Sony DVD)
B Sound: B- Extras: A Feature: A-
aliens are here! They are among us... and it's a human. When 'Chuck' the
astronaut (Dwayne Johnson, a.k.a. The Rock) lands on planet 51 he expected to
find a lifeless rock. Apon landing on Planet
51 (2009), Chuck finds it is filled with an intelligent species much like
humans. The natives however, are paranoid about aliens as you can get. They
believe aliens will steal their brains and brainwash them. Except for a teenage
alien named Lem who believes Chuck is peaceful, he befriends him and tries to
help him back to his impounded space ship.
The latest in CG cartoon animation comes from Tri-Star Pictures, the
little-heard from division of Sony Film. It's comical CG animation about a human lost
on an alien planet who is trying to get back home (much like E.T., except funnier). The main character is a about a teenage alien
when he discovers an actual alien landing in his back yard, and hides him from
the government. He is shaken when he is
told of the truth of the universe (it's more than 500 miles long), but he then
realizes if they were ever to explore or discover the unknown universe, the
only way to learn about it sometimes is to have an open mind. Together they face paranoid government and
must sneak into Area 9 to get Chuck back to his space ship.
This is about alien paranoia, but in this case it's a human that are the alien.
The film makes many references to other
earlier sci-fi/alien movies such as Star
Wars, 2001: A Space Odyssey, E.T. and Aliens among others in homage to alien and sci-fi
lore. The planet's native aliens and the
civilization's technology level is similar to the human civilization of the 50s
(I don't know about the hover cars though), they are in science age and an
intelligent society, but have not yet reached the space age or any of the
technologies. I found the film very
amusing, but what surprised me was the voice actor Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock,
he has a very impressive voice range; unless this was digitally manipulated
somehow. Extras include a Run Rover Run
game, extended scenes, music video, interview with voice actors, and trailers.
- Ricky Chiang