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Planes (3D)


Stars: Voices: Dane Cook, Teri Hatcher, Brad Garrett, Stacy Keach, John Cleese, Carlos Alazraqui, Roger Craig Smith, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Priyanka Chopra, Cedric the Entertainer, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards

Director: Klay Hall

Some 60 years ago Bwana Devil catalysed a brief 3D renaissance by offering cinemagoers, “A lion in your lap!”

Recently 3D films have returned in force but I can’t help thinking (especially after duds like the Clash of the Titans remake) that its comeback is rather more due to distributors being able to charge extra for glasses than for major creative reasons. Which is not to say that recent 3D films have all been bad.

But in the final analysis a good film is a good film, flat or multidimensional. 3D filming can’t rescue a bad movie. All that it can do is force it into your vision and make the experience all the worse.

So it is with this Disney disaster, rightly originally intended as a straight-to-DVD release where the fast-forward button would have been a godsend.

Presumably exhilarated by the success of Pixar’s automobile animation Cars, Disney delivers an aerial rip-off that might well tax the patience of the intended young audience for its sad lack of invention or much in the way of humour. The most obvious joke? A low-flying aircraft flies into three portable toilets and end up covered in crap. More a review than a joke.

Despite 3D animation, the limp tale of a little crop-dusting aircraft with delusions of grandeur determined to become a “high-flying air racer” never gets off the ground. There’s a problem for Dusty, though, even when he manages to become a contestant in the Big Race – he has a fear of heights.

Some 15 minutes in, the air competition announcer reviewed the already feeble dead-in-the-water show when he states, “It doesn’t get much better than this”.

It didn’t.

(There's one minor flicker of invention. Top Gun stars Anthony Edwards and Val Kilmer make brief vocal appearances)

Alan Frank

USA 2013. UK Distributor: Disney. Colour.
91 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: U.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 19 Aug 2013