By Robbie Graham
How genuinely refreshing to see Hollywood filmmakers sticking their necks out on a UFO movie in which the US military is depicted as the hostile force rather than the alien visitors.
The new trailer for Escape from Planet Earth would seem to indicate that Hollywood still has some faith in the non-hostility of potential extraterrestrial intelligences despite Tinseltown’s long and successful history of aggressively demonizing life beyond Earth (UFO buffs will note the references to modern human technology being seeded -- or in this case literally produced -- by ETs... Philip Corso, anyone?).
Here’s the official blurb for the movie:
“The 3D animated family comedy Escape from Planet Earth catapults film goers to planet Baab, where admired astronaut Scorch Supernova (Brendon Fraser) is a national hero to the blue alien population. A master of daring rescues, Scorch pulls off astonishing feats with the quiet aid of his nerdy, by-the-rules brother, Gary, head of mission control at BASA. When BASA's no-nonsense chief Lena (Jessica Alba) informs the brothers of an SOS from a notoriously dangerous planet, Scorch rejects Gary's warnings and bounds off for yet another exciting mission. But when Scorch finds himself caught in a fiendish trap set by the evil Shanker (James Gandolfini), it's up to scrawny, risk-adverse Gary to do the real rescuing. As the interplanetary stakes rise to new heights, Gary is left to save his brother, his planet, his beloved wife Kira (Sarah Jesscia Parker) and their adventure hungry son Kip.”
Okay, so the trailer makes it clear that we shouldn’t be expecting cinematic greatness, but the concept of aliens in peril at the hands of paranoid human officials puts Escape from Planet Earth in the company of E.T. The Extraterrestrial, Super 8, and only a handful of other films of this ilk to have been produced in the history of the UFO subgenre. More like this, please, Hollywood. You can do it if you try.
Escape from Planet Earth is due for release Feb. 14, 2013.