Film Review: Planes 2: Fire and Rescue

PLANES 2: FIRE & RESCUE

Planes 2: Fire and Rescue can be applauded for heading into a different direction than a standard sequel narrative. Nevertheless, the are a number of issues which detract from the overall enjoyment of the film.

Preparing for his next big race, Dusty finds out that his engine is damaged. Pondering how this will effect his career, Dusty is offered an opportunity to train as a firefighting plane…

The premise of Planes 2: Fire and Rescue is decent. Instead of plumping for a recycled plot of the protagonist continuing on the trajectory of the first film and overcoming obstacles, Planes 2 opts to do something different. The film fashions a new career for its protagonist, offering him less of the glamour for something more worthwhile.

The main issue with Planes 2: Fire and Rescue is that the narrative is not very inspiring. The new characters introduced in the film are not that interesting, leaving the burden to carry the story on the shoulders, or rather wings of protagonist. Dusty is likeable enough, but his story is never fully engaging.

Pacing in Planes 2 is a bit patchy. The musical interlude as Dusty travels to his training feels out of place. This segment might lose the attention of the younger demographic that the film surely is aimed at. The film aims to be rather noble in its themes, although the story of being set on a different path has been executed better elsewhere.

Comedy in the film is gentle. Planes 2: Fire and Rescue raises a couple of titters, but it is unlikely that the film will satisfy older viewers on this account. More consistent humour would have been a most welcome addition, especially as the narrative fails to fully engage.

Planes 2: Fire and Rescue should satisfy fans of the first Planes film, but it is unlikely to successful captivate a new audience.

Stuff To Look At

A veritable cornucopia of film trailers, images and featurettes this week, including Hot Tub Time Machine 2, Lucy, The Imitation Game and more…

Hot Tub Time Machine 2

Here is the trailer for Hot Tub Time Machine 2. A sequel to 2010’s hit comedy Hot Tub Time Machine, this instalment sees three of the four main characters venturing forward in time. Hot Tub Time Machine 2 will be released in the UK on 26th December 2014.

Fifty Shades of Grey

The hotly-anticipated trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey is here. Having not read the book, I am unsure whether this is what fans of the novel expect. Starring Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson, Fifty Shades of Grey is scheduled for release in UK cinemas on 13th February 2015.

Lucy

From the above clip, Lucy looks like it will be very entertaining. Luc Besson directs Scarlett Johansson in the sci-fi thriller, from Besson’s own screenplay. Lucy hits the big screen on 22nd August 2014.

The Expendables 3

And with every film, the cast keeps growing. The Expendables 3 sees some familar faces return, along with new additions such as Wesley Snipes and Harrison Ford. From the above featurette, it looks as if the cast had a lot of fun making the film. The Expendables 3 powers its way into cinemas on 14th August 2014.

Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max - Comic Con Signing Art

Here is the latest image from the upcoming Mad Max: Fury Road, which was debuted at Comic Con this week. Although the thought of another belated sequel could be disappointing, this one is directed by original helmer George Miller and stars Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron. Max Max: Fury Road is scheduled for release on 15th May 2015.

The Imitation Game

The first trailer for The Imitation Game was released this week, along with the news that the film will be opening the BFI London Film Festival in October. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley, The Imitation Game will receive a full release in UK cinemas on 14th November 2014.

Big Hero 6

The more I see of Big Hero 6, the more I am looking forward to the film. Big Hero 6 also reminds me how much I need a robot in my life. The film is due to be released in January 2015.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Here is the latest TV spot for the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It looks as if there will be humour in the film, which is appealing. But the real question is, for where is Krang? Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is out in UK cinemas on 17th October 2014.

Let’s Be Cops

Above is a clip from buddy-cop comedy Let’s Be Cops. Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson star as two friends who dress up as police officers for a costume party and end up being mistaken for the real thing. Let’s Be Cops hits the big screen on 27th August 2014.

Annabelle

Urgh, creepy, creepy, creepy dolls. Annabelle is a spin-off of last year’s horror The Conjuring. The film, which is being produced by horror maestro James Wan, is basically a reminder to never own sinister-looking dolls. Annabelle is set for release on 10th October 2014.

Exodus: Gods and Kings

Exodus: Gods and Kings

So is this what Christian Bale has been growing his beard for? Ridley Scott directs epic Exodus: Gods and Kings.  The film stars Christian Bale as Moses, on his quest to free slaves from their Egyptian ruler. You can watch the trailer here. Exodus: Gods and Kings is released in UK cinemas on 26th December 2014.

Magic in the Moonlight

Woody Allen’s latest Magic in the Moonlight is an appealing proposition.  Set in the 1920s, Colin Firth plays a magician attempting to expose psychic Emma Stone. I cannot wait. Magic in the Moonlight is out in the UK on 19th September 2014.

Horrible Bosses 2

Here is the trailer for comedy sequel Horrible Bosses 2. I enjoyed the first film, so am tentatively looking forward to this. Jason Sudeikis, Jason Bateman and Charlie Day return of this instalment, which is scheduled for release on 28th November 2014 in the UK.

Unbroken

Angelina Jolie directs Unbroken, the story of Olympian and war hero Louie Zamperini. With Joel and Ethan Coen among the screenwriters, Unbroken looks to be ticking all the boxes. The film will be released in UK cinemas on 26th December 2014.

Planes 2: Fire and Rescue

The sequel to spin-off Planes, Planes 2: Fire and Rescue sees protagonist Dusty swapping racing for fire fighting. The above clip gives a glimpse of his new team. Planes 2: Fire and Rescue races to the big screen on 8th August 2014.

Million Dollar Arm

Million Dollar Arm is based on the true story of a sports agent who travels to India to look for a young cricket he can transform into a star baseball player. Starring Jon Hamm, Million Dollar Arm is released in UK cinemas on 29th August 2014.

Stuff To Look At

Posters galore this week! Disney’s animated short Get a Horse gets a screening, a trailer for Meet The Millers, a clip from The Heat and more…

Get a Horse

©Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Mickey Mouse is back! Well, kind of. On Tuesday 11th June 2013 Disney unveil the never-before seen animated short Get a Horse. The hand-drawn short features Mickey Mouse and the voice of Walt Disney. It is being screened at Annecy Animation Festival in France, no word yet on if Get a Horse will become available widely.

The Heat

Sandra Bullock’s character has some uncomfortable questions to answer in this clip from upcoming buddy cop movie The Heat. Also starring Melissa McCarthy, the film is director Paul Feig’s follow up to Bridesmaids. The Heat is released in UK cinemas on 31st July 2013.

Planes

Planes

Here is the latest poster for Planes, the upcoming animated feature from Disney. The trailer for the film can be viewed here. Planes is being advertised as from ‘above the world of Cars‘, and the parallels between the films are clear. Planes hits UK cinemas on 16th August 2013.

We’re The Millers

We’re The Millers reunites Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston in a new comedy. Jennifer Aniston is certainly ageing well. We’re The Millers, which also stars Emma Roberts and Will Poulter, is released in the UK on 23rd August 2013.

The World’s End

The World's End Poster

Here is one of the newly-released character poster for The World’s End. The film reunites director Edgar Wright with stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. The film also stars Martin Freeman and Rosamund Pike. The World’s End hits UK screens on 19th July 2013.

Film Review: Due Date

Due Date has been heavily advertised as ‘from the director of The Hangover’, hoping to capitalise on the success of Todd Phillips 2009 film. Sadly, Due Date does not rise to the same plane as Phillips’ earlier film, although it desperately tries to.

After he is put on a no-fly list, Peter Highman is forced to hitch a ride with Ethan Tremblay, the guy responsible for his troubles, in order to get back to Los Angeles in time for the birth of his first child. Although the pair have days to get there, it is a tumultuous journey…

Due Date borrows heavily from the 1987 film Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Due Date takes the premise of John Hughes’ film (two mis-matched companions having to make a long journey in order to make it home for an event) and tweaks only minor elements. Anyone who has seen the 1987 film will recognise the similarities from the very off.

Originality aside, the crucial mistake made by the film is to try and inject too many emotional or more serious moments. The humour in Due Date is sometimes crude but ultimately funny. Yet the filmmakers decided to feature more poignant scenes that just do not gel with this type of comedy. The result is a film that is amusing for the most part, but one that is interrupted by a story that thinks it is necessary to give an emotional layer to its characters. The combination of drama and comedy can work together incredibly well, but Due Date‘s reluctance to play down the emotion may irritate some viewers.

Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis have great chemistry, and are well cast as the odd couple. Downey Jr. does highly strung very well, which is in complete contrast to Galifianakis’ relaxed but annoying Ethan. Juliette Lewis is fun as ever in a minor role.

Phillips direction is good, keeping an appropriate pace and capturing some amusing visual gags, a number of which feature Ethan’s dog. Influence from The Hangover is clear in the soundtrack and the pop culture references.

Due Date is entertaining enough, but its flaws are inescapable. Hopefully the sequel to The Hangover will see a return to form for Phillips.