'Fly Me to the Moon' doesn't fly

August 14, 2008 

I’ve wasted a couple of hours trying to infuse clever insect puns into a review of Fly Me to the Moon.

You know the drill, awful jokes stick to me like “flypaper” for a film that “flies” in the face of reality. Crap like that.

Fly Me to the Moon is so boring that even bad puns look good. And by now you know that Fly Me to the Moon has a double meaning. Three flies bordering teenage years…stop. I’ve gotta know. Do flies have teenage years? I’ve seen larvae. I’ve seen adults. Nothing in between.

C’mon. Quit being so picky about a fact that just isn’t that important. It’s a movie. A 3-D animated feature, a place where we can suspend disbelief. So we’ll give the animators a break.

Three soon-to-be-teenage flies stow away on Apollo 11 in 1969 and go on a grand, three-dimensional adventure to the moon. Blended into this so-called plot is family friendly, sit-com writing befitting the 1960s.

If you’re going to do a tribute throwback to a kinder, gentler time, then at least put a little fun into the story. Of the three real astronauts on that flight only Buzz Aldrin puts in a vocal appearance. Buzz. Wow. An unintended pun. Now that’s funny.

Nothing else is fun—or funny.

Fly Me to the Moon claims to be the first ever, animated full-length motion picture specifically made as a 3-D first and 2-D second.

So what?

It doesn’t take that much skill to spend millions on spectacular 3-D effects and zero on a script that will remind you more of a sixth-grade play than something penned for a major motion picture.

To be fair, kudos to director Ben Stassen. He built a technical masterpiece. The opening scene of Fly Me to the Moon will take your breath away. A dragonfly appears to be so close that you’ll scrunch back in the seat to keep it from brushing your nose.

I heard more than one gasp from the screening audience and then embarrassed laughter. The next sound I heard was a half an hour later. Unfortunately, it was snoring.

My own.

Rated G. It opens Friday at the Carmike 12.

Mr. Movie rating: 1 star

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself

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