DisneyToon Studios, the division of WaltDisney Animation Studios responsible for “Planes” and a bunch of straight-to-video sequels that you never knew existed, is back for more cash with “Planes: Fire & Rescue”, which opened in theaters nationwide on Friday.
“Planes: Fire & Rescue“
Release Date: Friday July 18th, 2014
Runtime: 83 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG for action and some peril
Cast: Dane Cook, Ed Harris, John Michael Higgins, Julie Bowen
Disney’s latest film set in the same universe as “Cars”, starts off where last year’s “Planes” left off. Although the film is more suited for younger audiences, “Planes: Fire & Rescue” is generally more successful than its predecessor in telling a compelling story that holds your attention throughout its relatively short screen time.
Meet (again): Dusty Crophopper (still Dane Cook), a successful racer and an international celebrity. He’s amazing, incredible, people love him (until he starts telling the same stories over and over and over and over again for several years in a row). That is all well and good until he breaks his gearbox and can no longer race. After a fire in his hometown Propwash Junction, non-compliance on fire-safety regulations threaten to shut down the local airport. To save the airport, Dusty decides to become an aerial firefighter. The rest of the movie follows Dusty’s adventure as he learns to fight fires and puts his new skills to the test.
While not as impressive as movies made by Disney’s Pixar, the movie is very visually appealing. The fire and smoke add an extra dynamic to the action and the extended action sequences are genuinely enthralling. I think what I appreciate most, though, is the reverence with which it treats its subject matter. This film is, in essence, a tribute to firefighters and recognizes them as the unsung heroes who rush into situations when everyone is running (or in this universe, driving and flying) away. The movie is surprisingly serious. It is long on action, short on gags, and the jokes that are there are not particularly clever or amusing; however, the story and the message that it conveys make this a worthy summer distraction for your little ones.
Overall, on the It’s An Ordinary Blog movie review scale from one to ten where one is the worst, five is the best, and ten is the worst again: I give “Planes: Fire & Rescue” a 2.893485 with an emoticon based sub ranking of “hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…aww.”