There are so many better options out there for your kids. So this is about an alien race called the Boov that roam from planet to planet, constantly running away from alien races they’ve wronged. When they come to Earth to take over, an unlikely duo is forced to team up: an overbearing outcast Boov named Oh (Jim Parsons), and Gratuity ‘Tip’ Tucci (Rihanna), a little girl that got left behind when all of the humans were reallocated to Australia. I do consider family oriented animation films to be one of my staple genres, so this is an area of expertise for me. DreamWorks Animation doesn’t have Pixar’s stellar track record, but they’re usually pretty good, with the occasional offering that scores a big win, like Kung Fu Panda or How to Train Your Dragon. That said, they definitely have a B-team that churns out work to meet their annual quota as well, so we also get Monsters vs. Aliens and Megamind. Home is definitely their B-team working, and frankly speaking, this is one of their worst works to date.
I can pinpoint exactly what rubbed me the wrong way about this, and it all boils down to Rihanna. I don’t think she’s a strong actress or voice actress, but I wouldn’t automatically discount a movie as being a failure if I saw her name on the cast list. What I have a problem with is that Home goes out of their way to play a large number of her songs while she is voice acting. It’s a self-aware nightmare as this child is turning her own song up on the radio, saying “I love this song”, and then everybody commences to dance. It is shameless self-advertisement, and I may have been able to overlook it if it happened once, but Home does this every 5 – 15 minutes like clockwork.
Like most cases of comedy misfires, the biggest undoing of Home is that it is just not funny. You have lame sight gags that are only going to hit with the youngest of audience members, and if you’re above the age of 8, you’re not likely to connect with this. Added to that, the writing is limp and predictable, and as far as plot progression goes, they have some ill-conceived reasons for there to be conflict (like the e-mail scene, you’ll know it when you see it). Our main alien Oh really got on my nerves as well; the aliens have this characteristic where they are constantly speaking in broken English, which I suppose was done with the intention of making them endearing, but it just leads to bad puns and irritating sentence structure. He is voiced by Jim Parsons from the Big Bang Theory, a show that I’m not the biggest fan of, but that’s a story for another day. The animation on this looks decent enough, but the writing feels like it is from a third or fourth tier company. Planet 51 immediately came to mind when I watched this… Yuck.
Home (2015) **
– Critic for Hire