|A Parental Review of "Space Chimps" for Concerned Parents:|
Here’s what you need to know about Space Chimps: Parts of it are very funny – those are mostly the parts involving the three mission control geeks (humans). Parts of it are ok. And parts of it are really quite intense, even if in an animated sort of way.
See, there is this bad guy named Zartog on a distant planet. And he is really mean to the other inhabitants of the planet, all of whom are somewhere just below Smurfs on the insipidness scale, except for this character known as “Kilowatt”, who has the most annoying voice ever, and who is so annoyingly insipid that if a Smurf and a Teletubby mated, their offspring would still be less annoying and insipid. Kilowatt sacrifices herself to The Flesh Eating beast – which will probably traumatize young tikes, but make the parents cheer – until she comes back again (having escaped through the obvious exit).
Anyways back to Zartog. There are pools of liquid nitrogen on this planet (oh, they call it something else, but that didn’t fool me any), and the bad guy Zartog has a penchant for suddenly, without warning, grabbing one of the other inhabitants of the planet and dunking them into the pool, instantly killing and freezing them. (Actually, towards the very end of the movie, you realize they aren’t dead..they are just frozen – and can still move their eyes, and once the evil Zartog is himself frozen, everyone else is rescued and thawed, but there is no way to know that for most of the movie, so if this concerns you, you may want to explain to your child in advance that they aren’t actually dead, and will be ok at the end.)
If this isn’t enough to make you cringe, the rest of the story isn’t too bad. The three chimps get sent into space to travel through a wormhole to find out what happened to an unmanned space probe that had gotten lost to the wormhole earlier (what had happened was that the evil Zartog had commandeered it and was using it to dunk everyone in the liquid nitrogen and, oh yes, to build a Las Vegas-style compound for himself – don’t ask).
One of the chimps, Ham the 3rd, is the grandson of the famous space exploring chimp, Ham (the first) – Ham III is plucked from the circus to join two other chimps on the trip – and he really doesn’t want to be there. As you may imagine, when the movie isn’t focusing on Zartog freezing his neighbors, or the character with the voice that makes the hooker from Man with 2 Brains sound basso profundo, it focuses on Ham III’s crisis of conscience.
Would I recommend this movie? Well, all I can say is if you do go see it, warn your children that everything all works out in the end, and it will be a much nicer experience for all.
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