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29 July 2008
Dir Kirk Di Micco
Review by Dena Blakeman
FROM THE makers of Shrek comes this new action animated film released with all its marketing merchandise of kids’ computer games to keep school children hopefully entertained for much of the holiday period, and their parents sane.
The story revolves around three NASA chimps that are sent to a galaxy far, far, away by an opportunity-seeking senator to help a five billion dollar NASA project that has gone awry. Whilst two of the chimps; the fearless Luna (Cheryl Hines) and their upright commander Titan (Patrick Warburton) have all the right prerequisites for the job, the third chimp, Ham III (Andy Zamburg); a happy-go-lucky circus performer doesn't. Unfortunately for him however, he happens to be the grandson of the first chimpanzee in space and thus employed to help retrieve the lost craft, that has disappeared into an intergalactic wormhole.
When they find themselves on a strange, unheard of planet called Rid, they begin a fantastical journey in the new world until then unknown to them, and set about saving its inhabitants from a tyrannical, fascist and wickedly disreputable leader Zartog (Jeff Daniels). From here Ham III, the slacker circus performer, gradually gets more interested in things other than flipping around furiously in space and turns into a reluctant hero. He eventually learns the true meaning of courage and hard work and ultimately lives up to his illustrious heritage, along with his courageous crewmates, who risk everything in their power in an effort to save the serene inhabitants of this distant planet from its evil dictator.
In a more profound socio-political reading between the lines, the plot can be seen as a comment on the USA's intervention in countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq with expensive wars that involve enlisting as many slacker type recruits as those heritaged higher ranking army officers.
It humorously tries to justify its purpose in entering into wars, which are now wearying thin on the ground.
On a more superficial and childish reading this is an amusing, out of this world comical adventure the whole family can enjoy.
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