Home (U) Close-Up Film Review
Dir. Tim Johnson, US, 2015, 94 mins
Cast: (voice) Jim Parsons, Rihanna, Steve Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Matt Jones
Home is most definitely a film for kids, although it provides more than enough chuckles throughout its 94 minutes for kids and adults alike.
Home follows the story of lovable misfit Oh who, after relocating from his home planet to Earth (or Smekland), finds himself on the run from his own people after he inadvertently sends a message to their enemy the Gorg (or ‘the Takers’), revealing their location within the solar system.
After forming an unlikely friendship with a girl named Tip who is on a quest to be reunited with her mother, who as a part of the Boov relocation scheme has been moved to Australia; as expected the film makes its way through a series of comic adventures, with periods of learning and development as well as poo jokes.
In a very child-friendly manner Home dissects a number of big ideas including prejudice and preconceptions as both lead characters learn that it is ‘ok to be different’. From this perspective, Home says a lot by doing so little. The film’s upbeat soundtrack also helps to hold the attention, featuring a number of well-known Rihanna songs and remaining playful and colourful throughout, aiding emotional engagement.
The film is exceptional in developing the idiosyncrasies of its lead character. Oh possesses a real cuteness to his character. Not only does he speak in riddles, his words often spoken in the wrong order, but also his chameleon-like skin and marshmallow appearance helps to create a very adorable character. Sadly, Oh is continually misunderstood in a place he is supposed to belong to, and this is the same for Tip’s character, making their bond all the more vital.
The film can be split in two: the first part is the countdown to finding Oh’s password in order to stop an accidental email being sent; the second part tells of Tip’s journey to be reunited with her mother (Jennifer Lopez). Despite the relatively short running time, the film is filled with gags as we see the pair develop what Oh refers to as a ‘sustainable friendship model’. The film remains highly imaginative and fun, working well for its younger target audience, often resulting in raucous laughter. However, for those open-minded adults there are a few good gags too, such as the one about clever marketing.
One close call, poo joke, successful inter-galactic housewarming party and dance sequence later, Oh finally begins his ‘best day ever’. Home ends in a poignant moment about friendship and individuality as he transforms into a ‘Super-Boov’. Tip reuniting with her mother is equally touching.
Rather simply, Home is a film about finding that place you can call your home.
Note to readers: watch out for the Boov ‘death song’.
Review by Rayvenn Shaleigha D’Clark