In the sequel to Disney's high-grossing Planes, Dusty Crophopper is chomping at the bits to defend his title. While on a practice run, Dusty accelerates and his engine misfires and stops. He crashes but lives and starts a fire that almost burns down the airport.
Later, he learns his antiquated gear box can't be repaired and a new one can't be found. That pretty much ends his around-the-world racing. At the same time, a fire marshall shutters the airport because of its lack of up-to-date fire suppression skills.
So Dusty heads West to learn to be a firefighter so the airport can reopen.
There, he meets a cast of the clich animated characters that dominate this and Disney's Cars series. The rookie firefighter and his new friends fight a predictable and dangerous fire with predictable and less-than-dangerous results.
Lots of fire and few sparks is a great description of this movie. I caught it in a theater packed with children who were quiet during the few action sequences, but during the deadly dull dialogue, they were squirming, screaming, yelling and bored out of their young minds.
They weren't alone.
I rarely give a movie a zero. The only reason Planes: Fire & Rescue doesn't get one is because of the animation, special effects and cinematography that are almost as real as real flying. The action sequences are less than spectacular, and they are every bit as good as this movie is bad.
So Planes: Fire & Rescue escapes with a rating of one. Barely.
Director: Roberts Gannaway
Stars: Dane Cook, Ed Harris, Julie Bowen, Hal Holbrook, Wes Studi, Terri Hatcher, Stacey Keach, Cedric the Entertainer, Regina King, Anne Meara, Jerry Stiller, Fred Willard, Patrick Warburton, Eric Estrada, Brent Musburger, John Ratzenberger
Mr. Movie rating: 1 star
Rated R for violence, gore and language. It's 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 DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.
--Also opening this week is Sex Tape. It screened too late for this week's column, but you can catch his review at www.tricityherald.com/arts/mrmovie.