Home **

Animated pic is just for kids 10 and younger

Is it worth $10? No

Early in “Home,” a so-so kiddie flick from DreamWorks Animation (“How to Train Your Dragon 2”), aliens invade Earth with the intention of taking over the planet. The first thing the aliens do is relocate all humans to “Happy Humanstown.” Let this sink in: The movie starts by removing people from their homes and everything they know and forcing them to live together on an island colony.

This isn’t cute, or fun, or playful. It’s horrifying. The fact that we later learn Happy Humanstown is Australia is irrelevant. Of course I’m aware it’s a children’s movie and shouldn’t be taken seriously, but you never know how something will affect people. I saw the film in Miami, in a theater full of children and adults. No doubt some in the crowd were Cuban, a race of people who generations ago were forced from their country due to Fidel Castro’s ascension to power (with the help of Che Guevara). Even before that, Japanese Americans were taken from their home and forced to live in internment camps during World War II. The point is, there’s really nothing enjoyable about taking people from their homes and having them long for loved ones, yet director Tim Johnson depicts such actions with the lightness of a feather in the wind.

For alien Oh (Jim Parsons), this is the “best day ever.” He doesn’t hate humans and certainly isn’t mean-spirited, he just loves moving. He also speaks English, which is convenient for the sake of the audience but illogical given that all humans are sequestered. Worse, he talks like Yoda: he invites people to his “warming of house party,” when trapped he asks if he can “come into the out now?,” and when he’s almost left behind he asks “why for do you do this?” Add Jim Parsons’ nerdy voice and you guessed it, this is incredibly annoying.

The reason Oh’s Boovian race takes over Earth is because they’re on the run from the Gorg. Thanks to Oh accidentally sending an evite (seriously) to the entire galaxy, the Gorg are coming to Earth and Oh is wanted by his own people. He goes on the run and stows away with the left-behind teenage girl Tip (Rihanna), whose mother Nancy (Jennifer Lopez) is in Happy Humanstown. Together, Tip and Oh strive to find Nancy and keep the Gorg away from Earth, and they do so by taking a car across the Atlantic and then unreasonably inverting the Eiffel Tower.

The script by Tim Astle and Matt Ember is based on the book by Adam Rex, and the ambition of the globetrotting tale and the positive virtues (friendship, love, family values) it tries to impose are admirable. It has some cute moments kids will enjoy, such as Oh dancing in the car, and Boov leader Captain Smek (Steve Martin) revealing the true purpose of his “shusher.” But there’s precious little here for adults – this is pretty exclusively for the 10 and younger crowd.

Bottom line: If “Home” were good it would make any transplanted adult homesick. I grew up in Connecticut, and now live in Miami. I did not think about Connecticut at all after the film. So there you have it.

Did you know?
Tip says she’s originally from Barbados; Rihanna grew up in Barbados. Both Rihanna and Jennifer Lopez contributed songs to the “Home” soundtrack.    

Home opens 3/27. Buy tickets here!

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