Planes: Good takeoff, bad landing

Gary Wolcott, atomictown.comAugust 8, 2013 

Film Review Planes

This publicity image released by Disney Enterprises, Inc. shows, from left, Dottie the forklift, voiced by Teri Hatcher, Fred the Firetruck, voiced by Marc Silk, Dusty, voiced by Dane Cook, center, Chug the fuel truck, voiced by Brad Garrett and Roper, voiced by Sinbad, in a scene from the animated film, "Planes." (AP Photo/ Disney Enterprises, Inc.)


The takeoff of Planes is perfect. A plain plane plot and cliche characters lead the movie to a serious crash landing. Cropduster Dusty Crophopper dreams of being a world-class air racer and follows that dream. The odds are impossible, but Dusty qualifies to compete in a race around the globe against the fastest planes in the world.

To mix metaphors, Dusty is a fish out of water.

Planes is done in the same visual style and plot tone as Disney's two Cars flicks. First-time major movie writer Jeffrey M. Howard's dialogue isn't interesting, isn't funny and his story just isn't fun. When recording the dialogue, the actors work solo and read their lines without the others being in the room. Dane Cook, Stacy Keach, Brad Garrett, Teri Hatcher, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, the ubiquitous animated-feature icon John Ratzenberger, and others deliver their lives like they're in a vacuum.

And like Cars, all emphasis is on the visuals. In 3D, they're stunning. The flying tricks and scenery are exceptional. Director Klay Hall (TV's King of the Hill) gets you smiling as you soar through the skies and the film. In two-dimensions, this one won't be as much fun.

All that makes Planes exceptional or unique is the 3D.

Director: Klay Hall

Stars: Dane Cook, Stacy Keach, Brad Garrett, Terri Hatcher, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, John Cleese, Cedric the Entertainer, Anthony Edwards, Val Kilmer, Sinbad, Brent Musberger, Colin Cowherd

Mr. Movie rating: 2 1/2 stars

Rated PG for mature themes. It is playing at Regal's Columbia Center 8, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.

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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