<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>
Directed by Klay Hall. Starring the voice talent of Dane Cook, Stacy Keach, Brad Garrett, Teri Hatcher, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, John Cleese, Cedric the Entertainer, Carlos Alazraqui, Roger Craig Smith, Val Kilmer, Sinbad, Priyanka Chopra
Sure it’s formulaic and predictable but it’s a sweet enough ride with lots of wit and cutesy moments to endear it to the young and young at heart.
We didn’t like CARS 2 at all. But in our video review of the movie (see that here) we did mention that there’d be a Trains or Planes movie; something you probably heard in our video before anywhere else. And we were right. Apparently originally slated to be a direct-to-TV release, the good people at Disney decided to put some more faith into it and release it as a ‘World of CARS’ franchise film.
Cars are great but you can do so much more with planes. Like fly. In PLANES our crop dusting protagonist Dusty Crophopper (Dane Cook) dreams of doing more than spreading fertiliser on fields. He wants to compete in the Wings Around The Globe competition and after qualifying it’s basically a race across the world from New York to Iceland to India and more.
Okay, so it sounds just like CARS really. But what PLANES has is the thrill of flying. And some fun characters like the Mexican plane – with a voice reminiscent of Antonio Banderas’ Puss in Boots from Shrek – El Chupacabra (Carlos Alazraqui) trying to woo a Canadian jet named Rochelle (Julia Louis-Dreyfus). And of course India’s very own Priyanka Chopra voicing Ishani. The ever-dependable cunning jock who must win at all costs is played by Roger Craig Smith who is this super fast double-propeller jet called Ripslinger. And always dependable voices John Cleese as Bulldog and Brad Garett as trusty oil tanker Chug are marvellous.
And AR Rahman’s song Tere Bina from the 2007 film Guru gets a cameo in the film too as love birds Ishani and Dusty explore the Taj Mahal.
Unlike CARS 2, PLANES is fast paced and relatively fun. It’s not great, it’s not original but then what films are nowadays. Unfortunately, Hollywood would rather stick to the formula than forge new frontiers. Can a TRAINS film be too far behind? Why not UNICYCLES instead? Now that would be different.
In spite of the bad reviews all around, I thought PLANES had some interesting moments, good characters and touching scenes. Go watch Kick-Ass 2 and then see PLANES. Avoid JOBS though, there’s a better Steve Jobs movie in the making by The Social Network writer Aaron Sorkin.