Friday, August 08, 2008

SPACE CHIMPS - the great run of B-movies continues!

Houston, we have a problem!SPACE CHIMPS is another one those movies - like THE MUMMY 3 and JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH - that is funnier and more enjoyable than I had any grounds to expect. It's an animated film that does exactly what it says on the tin. There are some smart-talkin' chimps and they get shot into space by NASA to see if there is life on a distant planet.

This isn't a movie working on the level of WALL-E. And, frankly, there's nothing special about the animation, and many of the characters are stock-types. But it is, nonetheless, an enjoyable film. The hero is a wise-crackin' cocky chimp called Ham III, who lives in the shadow of his grandfather, the original (and real life) space chimp Ham. He's always macking onto the uptight but pretty Lieutenant Luna. Naturally, they have one of those classic movie scenes where the laid-back cool guy gets the chick to loosen up through the power No, body-popping! The third member of the crew is a Buzz Lightyear-like chimp called Titan - earnest, brave but a bit stupid. The three chimps land on an alien planet where the mean Zartog has enslaved the other aliens thanks to his control of the original landing probe. The chimps have to go jump through some hoops (very Journey to the Center of the Earth/platform video-game) before freeing the aliens and returning home. On the way, they learn to clean up after man's metaphorical mess and the true nature of being an astronaut. The humans may use chimps as dumb animals but they can take control and become true space chimps.

Why did I like this movie so much? Maybe because it new its limitations, keeping to a brisk 70 minute run-time. Maybe because its colour palette is so bright and cheerful and because the aliens are do damn cute - especially a sweet little baby alien called Kilowatt. Mybe it's because the film-makers eschewed the usual cast of big-name actors and went for a cast of high-class TV comedians who know their craft? On the whole, I think I liked SPACE CHIMPS because it's genuinely funny and engaging. The jokes are clever - satirising the relationship between politicians and scientists and lovingly spoofing the sci-fi genre. But on a more basic level, who wasn't laughing when they saw three geeky scientists body-popping to Axel F?!

SPACE CHIMPS is on release in Hong Kong, South Korea, Brazil, Canada, the USA, Portugal, Kuwait, the UK and Israel. It opens later in August in Singapore, Croatia, Finland,Spain, Russia and Poland. It opens in September in Norway and Australia and in October in the Netherlands, Belgium and France.

1 comment:

  1. I liked this movie. Cute and uncomplicated. Not all animated movies have to have a deep message to be enjoyed.