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"PLANET 51"
(2009) (voices of Dwayne Johnson, Justin Long) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Minor Mild Heavy Moderate Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Heavy None None
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Moderate None None Moderate Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Computer Animated Sci-fi/Comedy: Residents of an alien planet, that resembles a futuristic version of 1950s America, must contend with their world being upended with the arrival of a human astronaut from Earth.
PLOT:
Capt. Charles T. Baker (voice of DWAYNE JOHNSON) is an American astronaut who's just traveled across the cosmos to claim Planet 51 for Earth. To his shock and initial horror, he's landed in Glipforg, a place inhabited by civilized, green-skinned and four-fingered beings who exist in a slightly futuristic yet retro version of 1950s America and coincidentally or not, speak English.

One of them is Lem (voice of JUSTIN LONG), a teenager who's just been named assistant curator at the local planetarium, a promotion he hopes might impress his next door neighbor, Neera (voice of JESSICA BIEL). He has a crush on her -- something not missed by her younger brother, Eckle (voice of FREDDIE BENEDICT) -- but doesn't know how to proceed. That's unlike his more carefree friend, Skiff (voice of SEAN WILLIAM SCOTT), who works at the local comic book store, or hippie Glar (voice of ALAN MARRIOTT) whose social protesting has grabbed Neera's interest.

But Lem has bigger fish to fry when he ends up being Capt. Baker's unintentional and initially unwilling accomplice to harbor the astronaut and get him back to his spaceship. That goal quickly becomes complicated upon the arrival of the army, led by General Grawl (voice of GARY OLDMAN) who wants the alien captured. He gets his advice from Professor Kipple (voice of JOHN CLEESE) who spreads rumors about such invaders, such as them turning the locals into zombies, his paranoia no doubt fueled by such related films.

From that point on, Lem does what he can to help Capt. Baker as they and their friends try to avoid Grawl, his men, and Kipple who wants the astronaut's brain for testing.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Younger kids, especially those into sci-fi, will likely be interested in this offering.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For mild sci-fi action and some suggestive humor.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
All of the following characters, except for the first, are aliens, but are considered the norm for their planet.
  • CAPT. CHARLES T. BAKER is the Earth astronaut who lands on Planet 51 and is shocked to find that it's populated with civilized beings, albeit in a futuristic version of 1950s America. Egotistical and a bit of a human prop, he's initially freaked out by the inhabitants and then hides from the military while using Lem to try to get back to his spaceship.
  • LEM is a teen who's just been named assistant curator at the town's planetarium and likes Neera. But his world is turned upside down when he ends up being stuck with the astronaut and tries to get him back to his spaceship.
  • NEERA is the next door neighbor teenager he likes, but to whom he hasn't been able to express his full feelings. She ends up thinking he's a jerk, however, when he starts acting like the adults. She joins Glar in being a protestor.
  • GENERAL GRAWL is the stern commander of the army who wants Capt. Baker captured and isn't pleased with anyone who opposes him and his goal.
  • PROFESSOR KIPPLE is the diminutive "expert" on humaniacs who wants to remove Capt. Baker's brain to examine it, and serves as General Grawl's go-to figure for information on humans and what he believes is their ability to turn the locals into zombies.
  • SKIFF is Lem's best friend who works in a comic book store.
  • GLAR is a hippie type teen who occasionally commentates with his guitar and a song. He also leads protests against the military.
  • ECKLE is Neera's younger brother who informs Lem he needs to tell Neera how he feels about her.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this computer-animated, sci-fi comedy. No profanity is present, but various colorful phrases are. A human astronaut ends up accidentally nude in front of aliens (including one teenage girl) who see his full frontal nudity (we don't), with one commenting on his genitals (not knowing what that is), while a movie within the movie has a teen couple in a parked car, but they're interrupted before anything happens.

    1950s style sci-fi action-based violence is present (spaceships and military types firing on each other), as is some contact between characters as well as slapstick style material. It's possible some of that and what appears to be potential peril might be unsettling and/or suspenseful for the youngest of kids, but few if any others will also find it that way. There's some potentially imitative behavior, as well as bad attitudes and various instances of crude humor.

    Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those prone to visually induced motion sickness, there's a brief spin-around camera shot.


    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • A delivery guy sneaks a drink from a bottle, but it might be that planet's version of milk rather than alcohol.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • An alien dog (that somewhat looks like a miniature version of the monsters in the "Alien" movies) pees on a lamp post, with its acidic urine burning through the metal and felling the post.
  • As one character talks about the aliens eating brains and other organs, a young kid covers his mouth as if he's going to be sick and then vomits.
  • Lem reminds Skiff that the latter gives candy to his puppy so that he'll poop jelly beans.
  • Skiff's comic book store boss tells him it's time to put out the alien poop, with Skiff replying, "I love alien poop day" (none seen).
  • An alien dog's long tongue snaps out and attaches to Capt. Baker's helmet visor, and then to his arm (meant to be comically gross).
  • A TV pitchman performer says he's good as a toothbrush, but states what he really does best is play a suppository.
  • Skiff gives Lem a cork, commenting on the aliens' favorite probe area while referencing one's rear. He then says it's a used one, prompting Lem to throw it back at Skiff who makes some comment about him or Lem sharing it with someone else as well.
  • A mail carrier taunts an alien dog knowing its chain will keep it from getting to him. The dog then pees on its chain, knowing its acidic urine will burn through the chain.
  • Rover (that acts like a dog) and the alien dog circle each other, attempting to smell the other's rear. To be a distraction, the alien dog then drags its butt along on the grass.
  • Skiff tells Capt. Baker about the latter's bathroom options, showing him newspaper for "number one," tells him to go outside for "number two," and then says that if it's "number three," Capt. Baker is on his own.
  • Scared of General Grawl while trapped in a cage, Rover lets out an oil spill (a scatological joke).
  • Prof. Kipple has Capt. Baker strapped down to an exam table and has a rotary saw near his head (to remove his brain). We then see a character pass by with a bandaged head and his removed brain floating in a jar.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • General Grawl and his army men want to capture or kill Capt. Baker without checking to see if he's friendly.
  • A mail carrier taunts an alien dog knowing its chain will keep it from getting to him. The dog then pees on its chain, knowing its acidic urine will burn through the chain.
  • General Grawl grabs Glar by his long hair (for being a hippie protestor), while army men aim their guns at Glar.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" may be unsettling and/or suspenseful to younger viewers but probably few others.
  • A bad storm appears to be nearing, including with some lightning, and we then see Capt. Baker's ship land. But it's Capt. Baker who's scared when he sees all of the local folk (alien in appearance to him) and he flees (all played for comedy).
  • Prof. Kipple has Capt. Baker strapped down to an exam table and has a rotary saw near his head (to remove his brain), but Rover grabs the saw arm just in time.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Futuristic Handguns/Rifles/Machine guns/Tanks/Spaceships: Carried and/or used to threaten or attempt to kill others and/or cause property damage. See "Violence" for details.
  • Various soldiers/guards are seen carrying futuristic weapons in various scenes.
  • Army men surround Capt. Baker and his companions, with their guns aimed at them, including General Grawl with his handgun. He then shows that he has a trigger for bombs that are rigged around the building.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "High four," "Duh," "Nutcase," "You give candy to your puppy so he'll poop jelly beans," "I love alien poop day," "What a bummer," "Righteous mother," "No problemo," an incomplete "What the..." "Keep your eyes on the aliens," "They're gonna freak," "Either your name is Lem or you're trying to mate with me," "I'm getting slimed," "Helloooo," "Capisce?" "I've never seen such a heinous weapon," "You clown," "Diabolical," "Shut up," "You moron," "Green bean," "Chicks," "Are sparks flying or is this place on fire?" "The times, they are a different," "Are you kidding me," "Hasta la vista baby, you are terminated," "Let the doctor handle this," "When are you green goobers gonna evolve?" "Frickin,'" "She's a hottie," "Spam in a can," "Morons," "This is so Luke Skywalker," "That's a funny place for its antenna" (said about an unseen penis) and "That is sick."
  • The action and other stunts might be enticing for some kids to imitate.
  • Army men shoot Capt. Baker's MP3 player for it playing "Macarena."
  • Two army men punch each other in the face to test whether they're now alien zombies (if they feel pain, they're not).
  • Lem hotwires a car after Capt. Baker showed him how to do so earlier.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of suspenseful, adventure-based and heavily dramatic music plays in the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • None.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • In a movie within the movie, a young couple is in a parked car, with the girl stating she really isn't "that kind of girl," and the guy saying he wouldn't be interested in that type of girl. Just then a spaceship descends and they panic, with the girl saying she knew that would happen if they made out.
  • A guy whistles at an alien Marilyn Monroe lookalike in the familiar blown-up skirt photo (nothing explicit seen).
  • A male cop stares at a buxom woman as she walks past, with her telling him to keeps his eyes on the aliens.
  • As Lem keeps repeating his name to Capt. Baker after first meeting him, Capt. Baker replies, "Either your name is Lem or you're trying to mate with me."
  • Trying to teach Lem how to approach Neera (who isn't present), Capt. Baker uses the term "chicks" and then gives him the cheesy pickup line, "Are sparks flying or is this place on fire?" He then does another line about making their last night together one to remember, ending in Capt. Baker dipping Lem backwards, with someone walking in and "catching" them that way.
  • About Neera, Capt. Baker states, "She's a hottie."
  • After being freed from an exam table, Capt. Baker sits up, with the cover over him falling off, revealing his bare chest. When he stands, it apparently falls away, resulting in everyone (including Neera) seeing his full frontal nudity. We don't, but Skiff (staring in the direction of Capt. Baker's crotch) states, "That's a funny place for its antenna."
  • Neera kisses Lem.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • None.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Whether life exists elsewhere in the universe, and if so, how they would perceive us should we ever visit their planet.
  • The film's spoof/satire on the 1950s and, in particular, UFO paranoia that existed then, especially in the movies of that era.
  • VIOLENCE
  • In a movie within the movie, an alien spaceship descends upon the town, scaring a young couple who flee in their car and drive over things while trying to get away. The ship then fires a blast, with a tank shooting back at it. The spaceship then vaporizes two army men and a tank, with other army men and tanks firing back at it. Other spaceships then arrive and open fire as well.
  • Lem's father playfully whacks him on the back of the head.
  • Lem whacks his telescope, causing it to spin around and accidentally hit him on the head.
  • A local on a bicycle accidentally runs into Capt. Baker, sending him flying through the air, and then landing hard.
  • A large ball of some sort is accidentally fired through the town, and it causes various bits of property damage.
  • Finding a small creature on a rock he's holding, Rover slams the rock to the ground, crushing the creature (played for laughs).
  • Lem and Capt. Baker accidentally run into each other, with Capt. Baker falling over a balcony railing but he lands on a large space mobile with the planetary ring on it hitting him. He then falls from that and lands hard on the floor.
  • A tank drives through a fence, while army men aim their weapons at Capt. Baker's empty ship.
  • Army men shoot Capt. Baker's MP3 player for it playing "Macarena."
  • General Grawl grabs Glar by his long hair, while army men aim their guns at Glar. Lem then shoves Neera aside to get to an army man to stop him from discovering Capt. Baker who's hiding.
  • Rover spins his wheels on pizza trays, sending them flying at and hitting two army men.
  • Two army men punch each other in the face to test whether they're now alien zombies (if they feel pain, they're not).
  • One character's fingers are pinched when a car window is rolled up on them.
  • Capt. Baker pretends to exert mind control over two army men whose heads he then bangs together.
  • Lem ends up falling down some steps.
  • An army man fires at Lem and Capt. Baker, following by others firing at them. A tank then shoots at them, with Lem and Capt. Baker jumping out just as their car explodes.
  • Various ladies throw their tea cups at Capt. Baker.
  • Army men shoot at Rover and then tackle the probe.
  • Army men tackle Capt. Baker and pin Lem to the ground.
  • An army guy accidentally shoots another in the foot, resulting in everyone reacting and opening fire. No one is hit, but a button is then pushed, resulting in everyone being shocked, including General Grawl (all played for laughs).
  • We hear the sound of guards or soldiers beating Glar with billy clubs.
  • Army men surround Capt. Baker and his companions, with their guns aimed at them, including General Grawl with his handgun. He then shows that he has a trigger for bombs that are rigged around the building. That self-destruct button is accidentally activated, and a character then sends a large hook and pulley swinging toward General Grawl, and it hits his hand, causing his handgun to fire and hit some explosives that explode, resulting in a fire. General Grawl ends up knocked out, but Capt. Baker goes through the fire to rescue him, and must then pilot his spaceship out of the building before the rest of the bombs explode.



  • Reviewed November 14, 2009 / Posted November 20, 2009

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