Planet 51

Uh… well, it looks great, but if you’re going to do an elaborate animated parody of 1950s movies, might it help to aim it at an audience who has actually heard of the ’50s?

The basic idea is sound – a human astronaut lands on a planet and is mistaken for an alien menace by the BEMs who live there in a kind of Happy DaysAmerican Graffiti pre-civil rights paradise, but all the cutting-edge subsurface scattering and production design can’t disguise the fact that the protagonists are indistinguishable, the female characters lousy, and John Cleese probably did it for the money.

Oh, and annoyingly the cast perform a cover of ‘Greased Lightnin’, a 2009 performance of a song popularised in the 1978 film of a 1971 musical set in 1959. Which (to me, at least… maybe it’s just me) makes little sense. And there’s an egregious R2-D2-WALL·E ripoff.

At least the Giger-inspired little doggies who piddle acid are amusing.

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