Fly Me to the Moon (Summit Entertainment, G)

flymetothemoon.jpgThe beginning of the story is cute and could have possibly turned into an entertaining movie. Instead, the movie becomes stagnant early on and never recovers, even with a few potentially dangerous situations for the buddies and a strange tangent involving Cold War references that will be totally lost on the intended audience.

 

Children under the age of ten will love Fly Me to the Moon because it is being released in Real D, the new 3-D, one of the greatest developments in film in the last decade. The animation jumps off the screen in a way that makes the 3-D of the past look like the technological equivalent of a hand-drawn flipbook. Though the animation in this movie is sub par at best, the Real D technology makes it look fantastic and distracts the viewer from the muted, bland colors and poor script.

Taking place in 1969 in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Fly Me to the Moon tells the story of Nat (voiced by Trevor Morgan), a young fly who dreams of nothing more than going on an adventure like the ones his grandfather (Christopher Lloyd) tells him about. When he sees his chance to get on the space shuttle going to the moon, he drags his two best friends I.Q. (Philip Bolden) and Scooter (David Gore) along with him to go where no fly has gone before. The three friends sneak on board without telling any of their mothers and set off on the adventure of a lifetime.

The beginning of the story is cute and could have possibly turned into an entertaining movie. Instead, the film becomes stagnant early on and never recovers, even with a few potentially dangerous situations for the buddies and a strange tangent involving Cold War references that will be totally lost on the intended audience. Tim Curry provides the voice of a Russian fly who is determined to stop the American flies from landing on the moon before they do. Children will have no idea where this digression is coming from and will likely become easily distracted because the accents are extremely thick and hard to understand.

Director Ben Stassen and his creative team focus too much of their attention on “wowing” the audience with their Real D technology, and not nearly enough time developing an engaging story or making the characters anything more than a series of cliché-spewing one-liners. A lot of big talent is wasted with the pedantic dialogue, including Lloyd, Nicollette Sheridan (whose fly character, Nadia, has an extremely large chest), Kelly Ripa and Robert Patrick. The voice talent alone should be worth the trip to the theater, but the dialogue is so canned and devoid of any attempt at genuineness that, like everything else, it becomes difficult to tolerate.

Fly Me to the Moon also has a strange, peripheral message regarding child obesity. Scooter is a compulsive eater, gobbling up anything in front of him. At the beginning of the movie it is nothing but an endearing quality, but at the end of the movie Scooter’s life is put in danger, not because of the health effects of what he consumes, but the pursuit of it. It’s an unexpected and poorly shrouded indictment on overeating, especially for children, but it comes so far out of left field that you can’t help but feel cheated.

Children and adults will be stunned by the realness of the technology and it is an exciting way to watch a movie. However, the novelty only lasts for so long and very quickly adults — and many children — will become bored with the movie that has very little action or creativity to offer. | Matthew F. Newlin

 

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