Release Date: March 27, 2015
Director: Tim Johnson
Writer: Tom J. Astle, Matt Ember, Adam Rex (book)
Cast: Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Steve Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Matt Jones, Brian Stepanek, April Lawrence, Stephen Kearin, Lisa Stewart, April Winchell
MPAA Rating: PG
Runtime: 94 minutes
Production Company: DreamWorks Animation
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Budget: 135 million
Having a place to call home is a great feeling, especially if you have someone to share it with. In this case, that home expands across the far reaches of space. Two worlds colliding creating something heartfelt and beautiful. This thought is amazing, and could lead to happy storytelling as well. Not in this story, though. You could say that about a character or two, with them being the life support that kept ‘Home’ afloat. Besides, the story is easily forgettable, and does not have the same energy Jim Parsons portrays in his character ‘Oh.’ He has done a spectacular job, and he is the sole reason for ‘Home’ being worth your time. Though with his absence one may consider this attempt a failure.
One of the positives of the movie is the alien creature’s cute design. The aliens are known as Boovs. They’re all the same at first glance, but each of them is unique. They’re fascinating little devils, and the idea of having one as a house pet isn’t too far-fetched. Their emotions are colorful and bright, and you can’t help but want the best for them. This is especially true of the main character ‘Oh’. He’s so adorable that it’s impossible not to fall in love with him. ‘Oh’ is the definition of innocence. He’s hilarious and helpful, but unfortunately, completely misunderstood. He wants what’s best, but sometimes doesn’t choose the right path to accomplish his goals. His character is what saves the movie. From the viewer’s standpoint, there’s not a moment where he isn’t wanted or welcomed. Lesser screen time with him would be a sin. He was the only reason I gave the film a chance at certain points. The story, plot, and other aspects, however, were downers.
Expectations were not high for Home. Though when you have a great character like Oh, teamed up with another there needs to be some balance between the two. Tip (voiced by Rihanna), was just another character. Nothing bad or amazing can be said about her role, other than the fact that she searched for her mother eagerly. When she felt joy or sorrow, it didn’t bring much life to her character. There was nothing special or memorable to say about her character. I’m not looking for the next historical figure or worldwide entertainer, but when put in the same setting as Oh’s character, I would have appreciated some healthier interactions.
The story took a dive as well, reaching out to be something much more than it was. It didn’t know where to go by the end of the first hour, and the audience paid the price for this confusion. What appeared to be a simple synopsis turned into a collapsing tower of blocks. The highlights of Home hit around the middle of the runtime, and not the end. So when thirty more minutes of screen time had passed, the audience member didn’t know where to go or think. It felt like the movie ended, but still continued trying to stall due to the main dish not being fully prepared. Imagine attending a lecture on general education classes only to be interrupted by a volcano insurance salesman. This is exactly what happened scene after scene until it found its roots again.
Home is by far not one of the movies you need to rush to the theater to watch. If there are other films on your list, I would recommend you watch those first. If you’re taking your kids, you’ll still walk away feeling good, with the sensation of happiness. It’s just a little irritating when the movie could’ve been so much more. If enough effort and thought were put into the other characters and aliens instead of just one, ‘Home’ would have been a jewel. Jim Parsons did a hell of a great job with his character ‘Oh,’ and this is the main reason that this movie deserves a viewing. When the story got dull, he changed my mood from bored to interested in a split second, and I’m not even usually a fan of his work. So if Mr. Parsons is one of your reasons for waking up in the morning, you sure are set for a wonderful treat of laughter and delight.