I’m going to start by saying, this isn’t my favorite animated film. It’s not a Frozen or Beauty and the Beast level.
However, it is a good movie and worth seeing. With a busy schedule we were unable to get to the theaters right away, so many of our readers that plan to see it probably already have. However, I will still do my best to not put spoilers into the review.
We start with the Boov.
The Boov are on the run from the Gorg.
I say, “on the run”, because the Boov are cowards and running is what they do. Captain Smek (Steve Martin) is the greatest runner of all.
I think one reason I didn’t buy into the “this is the greatest movie” fan wagon was because from the moment Captain Smek met with and ran from the Gorg, taking a possession and angering their enemy, I knew the climax point of the movie. Predictable movies put a little damper on things; however, the more movies I watch, the harder it is to see an unpredictable film.
The main character, hero if you will, is the Boov Oh (Jim Parsons). His name isn’t really “Oh”. “Oh!” is the greeting he gets from every Boov when he comes into a room. Oh is a klutz, accident prone, if you have any luck, it’s bad luck kind of gu…. Boov. I connected right away with Oh.
Parsons was ideal for this role. His monotone persona plays well with Oh as the animated antics give us some laugh out loud moments accompanied by the mellow voice of Parsons, making it a comical match. However, because I enjoyed Oh so much and connected with him on a personal level, this often lead me to the other reason I struggled with this movie. (I’ll address this later as the biggest negative.)
The second in characters is Tip (Rihanna). I loved this name! I loved it even more finding out her name is Gratuity. Gratuity Tucci. [Now that’s some clever writing.] I just recently watched a documentary, I Know That Voice, on Netflix. It goes through animation, voices, and the struggles of voice acting. [It was very interesting to watch by the way.] With that knowledge I have to say I was pretty shocked at how well Rihanna came through as Tip emotionally in her voice with the different levels and experiences in the film. She might have a good future in this if she doesn’t have anything else to do.
So sequence of events: Boov run from planet to planet trying to escape the Gorg. On each planet, the Boov simply and politely take it over. When the Gorg finds the Boov, the Gorg destroys the planet.
Boov are still running and they find Earth; it of course is inhabited by primitive humans. They take over Earth, putting all humans in “beautifully established camp areas around the globe, such as the Down Under, and they simply move right into the living quarters of humans and take over. Everything they like they keep. Everything they don’t like, they get rid of. [They do have quite the unique storage system.]
Oh gets an apartment and decides to have a housewarming party. None of his neighbors want to come. So he sends an email invitations to all Boov… and accidentally everyone else in space…including the Gorg.
The Boov all turn their back on Oh since they will lose their newest home because of his newest mistake of many. They make him their public enemy number one. So on the run, Oh runs into Tip who lost her home and her mother. As the trailers show, at first they clash, as Tip is angry because her mom has been taken. However, they become friends working together. Along with her cat, Pig. It’s a cat with the name Pig. Not a pig with the name Cat; that would just be weird.
My favorite part of the film is based on the title: Home. Not once is Tip ever looking for her physical home. She is looking for her mother (Jennifer Lopez)…her true home. This is what she is missing, nothing physical.
Three years ago this June 3 we lost our home to a house fire. We lost everything physical. However, I still had my wife and my four children. We were safely at services worshiping The Lord when the fire broke out. As we arrived and I stood watching the house burn for the next couple of hours as the fire fighters battled it, I thanked God repeatedly that we were all away and safe. The fire chief told me later, that if we hadn’t been away, the way the smoke broke out, my eldest probably would have never woken up. Those thoughts kept coming back to me as we watched this movie.
Tip continuously searches for her mother because she needs her. Family is where your home is. I can attest to that.
I can also attest that we have hope of an even greater home than anything that can be built here on this Earth.
2 Corinthians 5:1
For we know that if the earthly house of our tabernacle be dissolved, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens.
Another aspect that I enjoyed was how the creators decided to have the Boov show their emotions in color. When scared, they would change one color. Anger was another color. Fear was another. Sadness was another. And the all telling lie/guilt was yet another. No one tells Tip what these colors mean, nor the audience, but as we watch and we observe, we figure it out; so does Tip.
Being able to read body language and facial expression can allow a great deal of empathy between people. (It allows me to be more aware with my students when they come to school and they had a rough start to the day.) However, as we become a more disconnected physical society and more connected virtual society, reading people seems to be something slipping away in teens and adults. I still see it in children at recess and in the classroom, so it gives me hope.
As Christians, we are instructed in God’s Word that we need to keep our focus on those about us and not the world.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service.
2 And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, and ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
The biggest negative, as I mentioned I would get to, for me deals with an issue I have fought my entire life: subject to it as a child and fighting it as a teacher…Bullying. Oh is picked on, made fun of, chastised, physically harmed, and ridiculed throughout this movie. I had a very difficult time watching an hour’s worth of bullying, but the bullying was never addressed in the film. The entire group just did it and no one defended him. It wasn’t until he becomes a hero that they all adore him. But why couldn’t he have been adored before? Why couldn’t the artists/writers have drawn a few that changed colors and showed that they disagreed with the bullying when it took place. It was just hard to sit back and not notice for me. When I mentioned it to a fellow teacher, they didn’t notice it at all. The difference, she was never bullied in school.
With it being animation, children are seeing this. You never know what a child is going to absorb by seeing it on film. I just always worry about what underlying message could be taken from seeing scene after scene of large groups picking on one character because they made a mistake and simply don’t like him.
The second greatest commandment according to Jesus, our Lord and Savior,
29 Jesus answered, The first is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God, the Lord is one:30 and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength.
31 The second is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
He not only says it, but he lives it. Angry men bring a woman caught in the act of adultery to him and they, by right by law can stone her to death. (John 8: 1-11) They want Jesus to give the “ok” for the slaughter to begin. Jesus doesn’t judge her for her mistake. He loves her for the soul that she is. He challenges the man without sin to throw the first stone and every man leaves from oldest to youngest. Then Jesus pardons her and send her to sin no more. That’s how we are to treat others. [Have you ever read that and wondered, what about the second person? If she was caught “in the act”, there was a man she was caught with. Why wasn’t he brought in at the same time, which is what the law actually commands? These were not men seeking God’s kingdom and righteousness first.]
Overall, I give Home a 4 star.
I left feeling like I watched a good film.
I laughed several times throughout it.
My children loved it.
I don’t have any problems recommending it to anyone to go see.