Title: Planes: Fire & Rescue Director: Roberts Gannaway Year: 2014 Run time: 1hr 23m
“Planes: Fire & Rescue is a new comedy-adventure about second chances, featuring a dynamic crew of elite firefighting aircraft devoted to protecting historic Piston Peak National Park from raging wildfire. When world famous air racer Dusty learns that his engine is damaged and he may never race again, he must shift gears and is launched into the world of aerial firefighting. Dusty joins forces with veteran fire and rescue helicopter Blade Ranger and his courageous team. Together, the fearless team battles a massive wildfire and Dusty learns what it takes to become a true hero.”
1:46 - Slo-mo animation style. 3:02 - Rust-eze reference. He even did the Kerchow. 5:51 - The Red Bulldozer race. Amazing. 8:12 - “She left me for a hybrid, I didn’t even hear him coming.” 11:22 - Firetruck had to go back for its glasses. 14:06 - I’m in love with the TMST truck. 21:00 - Big ol’ helicopter lifting weights is fabulous. 22:09 - “Shut the hangar door.” 23:15 - Ooh, AC/DC as their fire anthem. F1 is starting. 30:08 - I didn’t realise they scooped up water like that. Clever stuff. 36:09 - Loving the point of a password you just tell people. 42:07 - She totally had an eye twitch. That’s good animation skills. 44:41 - Boat Reynolds! 49:49 - “Oh, he’s out back sipping a motorhito.” I want one of those! 58:20 - Of all the films for there to be a helicopter crash in, for some reason I wasn’t thinking this would be one. 1:07:20 - The fire effects are really good. And the water too. 1:10:55 - Dipper has taken the step up to properly creepy now. 1:14:49 - Parachuting cars onto ramps is a whole new level of demonstration.
Just as with the Nativity film series, we only watched the first one to be able to watch the second. The “shut the hangar door” line in the trailer was enough to convince us we wanted to get involved, despite concerns about it being Disney taking on the Pixar mantle. So, Planes was good, this one was on the same level but didn’t quite live up to its predecessor.
What the film does well is plane and transport related puns, an incredible range of one liners that can absolutely floor you. The hybrid quip was brilliant, and just as you’re recovering from that one, there’s a glimpse of line-dancing cars, and then a pick-up truck trying to pick-up a mate.
So many of these animation sequels ramp up the violence from their initial outings. Cars 2 and Toy Story 3 being prime examples. Planes 2 also does that, although I think it treads the line successfully. You sort of know there’s going to be peril, given the concept.
Aside from that, the only main problem was just how short it was. It felt like we were missing a whole third act - off the top of my head, Dusty getting his new gearbox, going back to racing, but then realising he actually prefers the firefighting role better. Instead, it ended after about 70 minutes and we were left hanging a bit.