Opening 3 Dec 2009
Planet 51 seems to be a mirror image of the idyllic version of planet earth in the ‘50s. The only difference is that the cars float around, the people are green with antennas, and when a dog pees on a lamppost, the acid disintegrates before your eyes. Life on Planet 51 looks bright for Lem, who has just been hired on as assistant at the Planetarium, and now he just has to get the girl. Things start going very wrong the moment American Astronaut Chuck Baker lands on the planet and is only supposed to mark the planet with a flag. He soon becomes aware that there are aliens on this planet, and things begin to wheel in the wrong direction.
The interesting aspect about this film is that it takes Chuck Baker quite a while to realize that he is the alien, and not the population on this planet. Together Lem and Chuck realize they need each other to get through this mess, and the hero qualities develop in both of these characters. Although the characters and the planets with their many details are very visually impressive, the plot is nothing new. The film is a cross between Jimmy Neutron and Shrek, but it has lost the creative genius and sense of humor that was in Shrek. Directed by Jorge Blanco. (Shelly Schoeneshoefer)