When Chuck the astronaut (Dwayne Johnson) lands on a distant planet filled with little green people, he is surprised to discover that we are not alone in the galaxy. But he gets the shock of his life when the residents of ... more »Planet 51 mistakenly believe that his presence is the start of an alien invasion of the human kind! Luckily, Lem (Justin Long) quickly realizes that Chuck is friendly and makes it his personal mission to help him return safely to his ship.« less
Robin W. (flabbyoldbird) from TAYLORVILLE, IL Reviewed on 2/20/2011...
My grandchildren just love this movie. We even enjoy it. I would give this 5 stars.....
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Know Your Films and Music Before Watching :3
Spider Moose | 01/08/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This film was very enjoyable if you know the references to the 1950s films along with other scifi films; being a cinema major and music junkie I knew majority of the films that were parodied making it extremely funny. However 99% of the people (including critics [Which are usually film school drop outs always bitter]) didn't get the references and made it less enjoyable for them. The reason why the film didn't do good was that it was released during the same weekend as New Moon (UHF did the same with Indiana Jones 3) and was too specific of a market. It's a great film if you've seen all those cheesy films but not for kids. The film was made for them but kids won't get this however mom and dad would find it to their enjoyment. For adults think of it as a kids film but with clean jokes for you. John Cleese from Monty Python is in there along with the "Rock" as the astronaut which both have perfect roles. The music had lots of remade hits from the 1950s. So before you watch it make sure you know lots of the films and music otherwise you may not be able to appreciate the film for what's there. It's definitely a film to kick back with a beer and some of your friends who are into the retro films to get a good laugh from. Highly underrated since most people didn't understand it."
Underrated gem...too subtle for some?
JHD | United States | 02/07/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"'Planet 51' was the last thing showing at our local theatre that I hadn't already seen. The previews and lobby displays (mis)led me to believe it was just another throwaway kids' cartoon, full of forced cuteness, predictable gags, and cardboard characters; but I had time to kill and the ticket was at matinee price, so I finally went in. Am I ever glad I did!
The obvious send-up of 1950s American culture is fun, and so is the shoe-on-the-other-foot twist of the human being viewed as the fearful alien menace, but if that's all a viewer takes away, he or she is missing a lot. There was plenty of unexpected satire that had me laughing out loud through much of the film. There is also a profound message that centering one's society around perpetual fear can cause more harm to a culture's core values than the thing being feared; however, the message very carefully doesn't get in the way of the humanity (alienity?) of the story.
The music was well done and really enhanced the fun. Visually, I loved the film. Character design wasn't anything particularly special, but the look of the planet itself was gorgeous. This is a cartoon, after all, not an overblown CGI extravanganza like Avatar, so you shouldn't expect photorealistic rendering of every tiny detail. The beauty of this kind of artwork is in the imaginative forms and colors, the simplicity of shapes and lines that enhance the story, not overwhelm it.
Actually, having brought the subject up, I suppose many comparisons and contrasts could be drawn that make Planet 51 a kind of Anti-Avatar. Here, the humans are neither conquering villains, nor paternalistic hero figures. People--er, beings--from both sides have to do their part on Planet 51 to bridge the misunderstanding of cultures and enable goodwill to prevail. That may not be the kind of dramatic plot it takes to engage some viewers' attention these days, yet it's exactly the sort of solid but gentle storytelling one should expect from the offspring of George Harrison's Handmade Films.
Plus, so far as I can tell, no one has yet suffered depression after viewing Planet 51. :)"
Smart, harmless fun
Y. Gil | Israel | 12/05/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I was a bit surprised to see the chilly reviews of most of the critics (the movie got an average C in the Yahoo critics review). I saw the movie with my 8 years old and we both enjoyed it a lot. It is a fun little movie which includes parody on many sci fi movies as well as on the 50's Americana. It's true that there are many references and puns pointing to other movies but in my eyes this was part of the fun and not 'unoriginal copying' as some critics claimed. I was especially proud when my son identified the scene from Singing in the Rain! My own favorites were a killer, acid-urinating pet formed after the monster in 'Alien', and the paranoid general in sun glasses which reminded me of Jack D. Ripper from 'Dr. Stragelove'. I saw some complaints about the 'simplicity' of the graphics, it's true they are not in the league of 'Shrek' or 'Bolt' but they do just fine in the context of the movie. Overall I will not claim this is a ground breaking movie in any way, but I enjoyed it more than 'Monsters vs. Aliens' which covers a somewhat similar teritorry and which we saw earlier this year."
Original humor that just was not that funny
Newton Ooi | Phoenix, Arizona United States | 03/25/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Again Hollywood shows a knack for copying itself in too many ways. In this case, 2009 saw 3 different CGI-animated movies released about humans landing on another planet, and showing how the residents of the other planet react. These were Avatar, Battle for Terra, and Planet 51. This last one was the comedy, and stars a cast of multiple big name actors and actresses such as Jessica Biel and the Rock. The premise is simple enough, a US astronaut lands on a planet inhabited by green, humanoid life forms that are living in a society reminescent of 1950's America. The "natives" think the astronaut is a threat and try to catch him. Some of the locals believe otherwise and help him escape. The plot line is OK and the action moves quickly enough, and there are many scenes that were humorous. However, nothing was really funny in this movie; no scene that made you laugh till your ribs hurt. So overall, an OK movie to waste 1.5 hours on, but don't bother buying the DVD."
Disappointing... But Unique
Mr. Batt-Man | Somewhere You're Not | 05/28/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Planet 51 is one of those idea's that look good on paper, but usually end up failing to make the jump from concept to production.
This movie was a real disappointment because I was really looking forward to it coming out, and as I watched it, the things that made it so appealing to me, one by one dribbled away. The supporting characters to Lem and Chuck were all 1 dimensional, sometimes irritating, and usually had little or no reason to be where they showed up.
The plot seemed to Snooker-Loop into uninteresting angles, and the majority of the jokes were all aimed at those below the age of 12. (Not one but TWO poop jokes with in the first five minutes.) It wasn't as though it was a bad movie. There were parts I really enjoyed and there were moments where you could see it was trying to be a great movie; but for every good moment, it unbalanced it's self with three ridicules moments. I really wanted to like Planet 51, honestly I did. But it just wouldn't let me.
But having seen the movie a few times over, I've come to see it has it's own uniqueness which kept me coming back. The movie needs to be viewed a few times to understand and appreciate it fully and the artistic design of the whole movie is undeniably beautiful. The concept of reverse ET is great, and the moral of "Don't Fear the Unknown," - which has been done to death - comes across in a way that doesn't feel worn out. It's these reasons that keeps it from getting two stars."