| 03.24.2018

Crash and burn – The sequel to “Planes” is the same old thing, just in a new environment


Planes Fire and RescueAndrew Jenson | rawr reviews

Why can’t these movies move on to a story line that doesn’t involve a rookie and his wacky peers working together to become something more? We’ve had this in “Cars,” “Cars 2,” “Planes” and now “Planes: Fire and Rescue.” It’s so predictable and boring. Please move on, Disney.

“Planes: Fire and Rescue” continues the story of Dusty Crophopper. He develops trouble with his gearbox, preventing him from racing. However, after causing a fire and getting his fire truck friend in trouble with some federal agency, Crophopper decides he needs to help his friend in need. To do this, he joins a rag-tag band of firefighters and learns what it means to save lives.

Why does the film have to focus around Crophopper? He’s already got a movie, and he wasn’t that interesting. The film should have focused on the firefighting team and their adventures. Develop those characters and leave Crophopper in the dust. He is really out of place here.

Sure, Crophopper was a crop-duster before he turned to racing, but why is he getting involved in fire and rescue services? That’s like taking a character from “Cars” and having him involved in some sort of environmentally-themed spy story.

It would have been more fun to see the professionals working off each other and doing their jobs. Having to watch another movie where a rookie has to work his way up and earn the respect of his peers is painful. This story has been done to death. But I guess Disney is content to resurrect it and beat it to death again and again as long as it brings in money.

The film was also too safe. Admittedly, the sequences where the planes fought fires were nicely done and looked perilous. You would weave in and out with the planes as they avoided flames and obstructions. But, the film failed to more fully capture the horror of wild fires. Everybody in the movie gets out OK and even the worst damage is overlooked like it’s only a scratch. The filmmakers wouldn’t have to terrify children, but they could have given them more reasons to fear for these characters and hope for their safety. They shouldn’t be afraid to go “Pinocchio” on their audience if necessary.

Also, the animation wasn’t at its peak. It’s nice to see Pixar wasn’t involved – but that only hindered the film. At times, the animation can look gorgeous, especially when it comes to night shots and the forest. Other times, it was downright unimpressive.

Another item to complain about is the music. The only memorable track was AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” – and that was just as out of place as the main character. It would be nice to experience the actual soundtrack. But just like every other film today, it blends in too well with the rest of the audio tracks and becomes nothing more than ambience to fill in the empty spaces. It’s just noise that neither helps nor enhances the visual experience.

The film is mercifully short and to-the-point. It might be a fun and mindless hour-and-a-half distraction for kids as well as adults, but that’s not worth the price of a movie ticket.

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