Photo: DreamWorks Animation
Starring: Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Steve Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Matt Jones
Release Date: March 27th, 2015
Directed by: Tim Johnson
Rated PG for mild cartoon action and some crude humor
DreamWorks Animation’s latest effort is the story of Oh, an alien misfit on the run for making one too many mistakes. Oh (Parsons) is a member of the alien race known as the Boov, who excel at running away from their enemy, the fearsome Gorg. When the Boov invade Earth and relocate all humans to their new home in Australia, teenage Gratuity ‘Tip’ Tucci (Rihanna) is left behind. Brought together by circumstance, Tip and Oh must learn to overcome their differences and discover what the real meaning of “HOME” is.
First, the accolades. The visuals are, for lack of a better word, fun. The candy-coloured Boov (who change colours to match their emotions) are a visual treat and will delight the children in the audience. The story, while familiar and simplistic, is surprisingly full of heart. Steve Martin is delightfully malicious as the pompous Captain Smek, leader of the Boov and wielder of the Shusher, a wooden staff with an egg-shaped stone on top used to “shush” anyone who disagrees with him. Parsons’ Oh is endearing and at times comical. The standout performance, for me, was Matt Jones’ Kyle. Adult moviegoers may remember him from his “Breaking Bad” days (he played the character of Badger). His raspy delivery and eventual transformation were just plain winning.
Now, the bad. While kids under 10 will be enchanted, adults will probably be bored. The soundtrack, which was composed entirely by Rihanna, is very gimmicky and at times does not match the film at all. As a matter of fact, Tip’s character often feels like a teenage version of Rihanna, complete with Barbadian heritage. Parsons also has a very (ahem!) distinctive voice. Coupled with the jumbled English and chirpy delivery, it can get annoying rather quickly for those not already fans of Parsons. Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez (who plays Tip’s mother) deliver passable, but not spectacular performances.
VERDICT: RENT. It will make a fine addition to your DVD library alongside “Frozen.”