|A Parental Review of "Planet 51" for Concerned Parents:|
I liked Planet 51 much more than I’d imagined that I would. In fact, we’re going to see it again tomorrow, and I am looking forward to it. That said, I wouldn’t take a child of below 9 or 10 to see it, at least not without some serious prepping. There are plenty of weaponful scenes, shooting, and some crude humour.
The violence is about on par with the violence in Monsters vs. Aliens, only there is a lot more shooting.
The opening scene shows a couple parked on a Lookout Point sort of romantic overlook, and suddenly an alien spaceship lands, and they find themselves caught in a gun battle between the alien and a military group. It turns out that what we are watching is a scene from a movie that is being played in a movie theatre on Planet 51, but that doesn’t diminish the violence of the scene.
There are lots of violent scenes throughout the movie; not surprising, really, as the premise is that an alien whom the Planet 51ians believe to be violent has landed on their planet – that alien is the human astronaut, Chuck Baker.
In one of the most violent scenes, the entire military shoots and eventually electrocutes each other (although nobody dies, and in fact the scene is quite silly and funny – but it is still very violent).
The incidents of crude humour are not frequent, but they are indeed crude. One character offers another a cork, to be used to protect him against the probing that is sure to come from the alien – in case there is any doubt where the cork should go, the character looks down at his backside. He then realizes that the cork he’s handed to his friend is one that he’s “already used” (yuck).
In another scene, a group of Planet 51 residents observe Chuck Baker dropping a sheet – and it is clear that this has left Baker standing stark naked facing them – and they all stare at his nether regions, mouth open, until one says “That’s a funny place for an antenna.”
There is also a great deal of tension around “Rover”, which is a small space exploration device that comes across as a dog, complete with a cute doggie personality and doggie movements and emotions. In short, it’s a dog. And so when Rover is captured, bullied, and treated cruely, even the adults in the audience were audibly sighing, gasping, and cringing.
In the end, it all works out in one big happy, feel-good ball of goofiness and morals. And in between, it has some very funny moments. Which is why we do recommend the movie, and why we are going to see it again – but this is definitely a movie where one should know up front what they are going to see.
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