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“Home”

Original Publish Date: 
March 30, 2015

By Bob Garver, Metro Contributing Movie Reviewer

Oh, the main character of “Home,” is really annoying. It’s hard to get past that fact. Everything else about this movie could be excellent and it would still be awful overall because of Oh (and to be clear, this is not an otherwise excellent movie). Oh gets his name from the groaning sound that his fellow aliens make any time he’s around. It’s a wonder his name isn’t Idontlikeyougoaway. Oh is voiced by Jim Parsons, best known for playing the aggravating Sheldon on “The Big Bang Theory.” Instead of getting him for 24 minutes, you’re getting him for 94. Unlike Sheldon, Oh at least attempts to be pleasant, but he’s rendered insufferable by his bumbling nature and awkward syntax. You probably know from the trailers that he speaks mostly in broken English that the movie thinks is funny. I assure you that prolonged exposure to this speech does not make it more tolerable.

Oh is a member of an alien race called Boov, led by Captain Smek (Steve Martin). The Boov invade Earth and forcibly relocate all humans in the gentlest way possible. Oh wants to celebrate his new digs with a housewarming party, which nobody wants to attend. While sending out invitations, he accidentally invites the Gorg, mortal enemy of the Boov and the reason they have to keep planet-hopping. Earth is in danger and Oh is in big trouble.

He plans to flee to Antactica, but he can’t access Boov transportation because he is a fugitive. He happens upon a teenager named Tip (Rihanna) who has a car and desperately wants to find her relocated mother (Jennifer Lopez). Oh promises to fix her car up enough to get her to Paris to look for human records, but he secretly plots to go to Antarctica. Tip doesn’t want to trust a member of the alien race that abducted all humans, but she reluctantly goes along with the plan, and we have ourselves a road movie. Actually the car flies, so we have ourselves a sky movie.

The biggest problem with the movie is Oh in general, but there are other issues. There’s a glaring discrepancy with Tip’s timeline. When we first see her, she’s tearfully watching old movies of her mom in a makeshift bunker with Boov-traps everywhere. The invasion seemingly happened earlier that day, it’s way too early for her to be that nostalgic or prepared. Also, why doesn’t she just ask the Boov to take her to her mom? They made an oversight in not relocating her (involving her cat), but there’s no reason to believe that she’s lost her only chance. And I found it weird that the soundtrack was filled with Rihanna songs. I don’t mean over the credits, I mean during the action when Rihanna is voicing Tip.  If you’re going to cast a pop star in a non-singing role, don’t use their songs when we’re supposed to be focusing on their character, it’s distracting.

I’m giving “Home” One and a Half Stars out of Five. That half star is because I liked some of the visual gags, ones where the characters, especially Oh, aren’t talking. For example, Oh fixes up Tip’s car with junk he finds around a convenience store. I’ll admit I liked the car; you try staying mad at a flying car that runs on slushies. On the other hand, it is very easy to stay mad at the car’s creator. Oh is annoying to no end and the movie is a mess on several other levels. I regularly refer to bad kids’ movies as “junk food,” this movie may as well be the inedible rubble that Oh likes to eat.

One and a Half Stars out of Five.

“Home” is rated PG for mild action and some rude humor. Its running time is 94 minutes.

Contact Bob Garver at rrg251@nyu.edu