SPACE CHIMPS 2: ZARTOG STRIKES BACK
MOVIE: ** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: *1/2 (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
The space-faring primates from the 2008 theatrical release “Space Chimps” return for another galactic adventure. This installment focuses on Comet, the tech geek of the bunch. A mishap at mission control causes him to shoot through space to the Planet Malgor where he finally gets a chance to meet up with his friend Kilowatt. Back on earth, Hamm and the other space chimps have to stop the evil Zartog from taking over the space agency after he’s freed from his statuesque prison.
WHAT I LIKED
I’m not wild about the “Space Chimps” franchise, and I thought the theatrical release a few years back was a little soft. However, I can respect the film for being a fun adventure with the kids. I took my young sons to see “Space Chimps” in 2008, and while it wasn’t a fantastic film, it was a nice way to spend an afternoon with them.
Similarly, “Space Chimps 2” is made for kids, and much of it will be uninteresting (and possibly even annoying) to an adult. But it does have a certain amount of appropriateness being a direct-to-DVD release. Considering the slate of releases from Vanguard animation (including “Happily N’Ever After” and “Valiant”), the “Space Chimps” films could be worse.
I did find the animation to be pretty well done, especially for a junior production house. It’s nowhere near the awesomeness of Pixar or DreamWorks PDI, but it still looks decent on your home television. Space adventures tend to lend themselves to a gee whiz factor of animation.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
The biggest problem with this film is that it has virtually no plot. Sure, they try to fit in a story with Comet and Kilowatt having a little vacation together, but this whole diversion really has no impact on the rest of the film. It seems to be more situational than story driven.
Similarly, with a name like “Zartog Strikes Back,” you would expect some real striking going on, care of Zartog. However, he really is nothing more than a tertiary character that has a pretty squishy plan on how to take over the space agency. I’m not sure why the film didn’t use more action – or even evil villain elements – to his character since he and the other characters around him were designed and available from the first film.
“Space Chimps 2” looks pretty and has some obligatory adventure elements but ultimately it’s a bit of a misfire. But rest assured… they leave things open for “Space Chimps 3.”
There are two special features on this disc. One is a really low-rent music video “Liftoff” by Shada. The other is an extended dance sequence from the movie.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE