By Steve Greene | Criticwire August 9, 2013 at 1:59PM
Barbed Wire is the place where Criticwire celebrates the art of the pan. Here's where you'll find the roughest, toughest, funniest reviews, with easy access links to both article and author so you can follow more of their work.
Another week, another animated sequel joins the Barbed Wire ranks.
While we could spend this time making flight puns (or "Flight" puns), we will say that "Planes" has a few more defenders than last week's Smurftastic collection of tough love. CraveOnline's William Bibbiani writes that the "Planes" is better than either of its spiritual "Cars" predecessors. Alonso Duralde at The Wrap also explains the relative virtue of the latest franchise output compared to its counterparts on the ground.
But even among it's supporters, in Duralde's words, it does seem like "damning with faint praise." (Actually, are you allowed to say that in a Disney review? Kids might be reading!) And still, there are enough critics who weren't quite as smitten with this installment of anthropomorphized vehicles.
Here are ten great lines from ten turbulent reviews of "Planes":
"The best way to murder a talking plane appears to be explosives, or, like the T-1000, smelting it in lava. Hewing to Disney tradition, Dusty's parents are nonexistent or dead, yet I kept hoping Dusty's dad would apparate, à la Hamlet's father, in the form of a ghostly data recorder."
"The pokiness of 'Cars,' which was a full half-hour longer than this speedy cash-grab, looks in retrospective like a benefit: There was time, back in Radiator Springs, for such niceties as character development."
"If 'Planes' represents what Disney is doing with the Pixar properties, then Lasseter may need to stage an intervention before we end up with 'Boats.'"
"If Earth's only inhabitants run on manufactured motors, who lives inside those buildings, and turns on those lights? Motorcycles? Segways? Vacuum cleaners?"
"Given that the first 'Cars' felt like a shiny but shallow 'Doc Hollywood' remake, 'Planes' feels like a watered-down version of gruel that was already thin to begin with."
[in an imagined discussion between executives and the filmmakers]
"The town's called Propwash Junction, sort of like Radiator Springs in 'Cars.' And the eyes! The eyes of the planes are going to look exactly the same as the eyes of the cars in 'Cars.' And 'Cars 2.' I assure you, we won't try anything new. Nothing."
"And what's with the aircraft carrier the USS Flysenhower (groan—a thousand times groan), which is alive (Look at those empty eyes) but seems perfectly content to have planes and forklifts roam freely on top of and inside it?"
"Some sequences here have a bit of visual dazzle, but plenty of them look like they were done on the cheap (there’s a lot of time spent just hangin’ round the hangar.) Little ones will stay engaged, but any kid old enough to fly unaccompanied will probably search for other in-flight entertainment."
"'Planes' is so overrun with broad cultural stereotypes that it should come with free ethnic-sensitivity training for especially impressionable kids."
"Do kids need to see a story of the brutality of the Pacific air war? Do they need to see a plane with PTSD?...If you're a parent looking for a good, well-made, memorable and appropriate film to take your kids to, I'm sorry."