Titan A.E.
** GM
Starring: Matt Damon, Drew Barrymore, Bill Pullman, Janeane Garofalo, John Leguizamo, Nathan Lane


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I was geeked out for this film for about a year before it came out. I'm a cartoon-lovin' sci-fi guy, and this film looked incredible in the previews. I was just really hoping for a good script to go along with the amazing visuals... but I guess when you're shootin' for the moon, it's not that bad to come back with a handful of rocks and that plaque they left up there.

The film starts off with the total destruction of planet Earth, which leaves a lot to live up to for the rest of the film, but damn if it ain't a good way to kick it off. Weird energy-beings called The Drej are out to destroy humanity before humanity destroys everything - a potential outcome that they apparently feel is safer to nip in the bud than to let come to possible fruition. When they build the Titan - a big ass ship with the 'capability of uniting humanity' - that's proof enough for the Drej to wipe us all out. Flash forward 15 years, humanity is now just a bunch of intergalactic drifters. Cale (Matt Damon), son of big-time Titan man, is the key to help find out where the Titan is hidden, but he's a reluctant, pessimistic hero with abandonment issues. Korso (Bill Pullman) and his wacky alien gang Preed (Nathan Lane), Stith (a poorly utilized or perhaps out-of-place Janeane Garofalo) and Gune (John Leguizamo), along with the lovely and talented Akima (Drew Barrymore) do their best to convince him to help out, and of course, he does... and of course it comes down to Cale and Akima saving the day and falling in love.

This looked absolutely amazing. The computer animation is incredible, and the traditionally animated characters only looked slightly more incongruous than human actors would have.. and overall, I did enjoy it. The problems I had were problems that generally come with stories like this - why do the bad guys let the good guys live to bite them in the ass later? They capture Cale and Akima, they need Cale, so they 'jettison' Akima, but they make sure to lock her up in a nice little case where she can breathe and not just blow up in space. They destroyed the entire planet Earth, for cryin' out loud! What's one more girl? Then, after they get what they need from Cale... they keep HIM alive, too! Also, if the Drej have the destruction of humanity as their goal, you'd think they'd be able to build a prison that can HOLD a human. Somehow, Cale is able to just stick his fingers into the electricity field that imprisons him and then manage to squirm through it. What is that about? Am I forgetting some basic physics lesson?

Another problem is that, despite any characters she played in the post-E.T., pre-Wedding-Singer period, Drew Barrymore's voice now brings with it Drew Barrymore's persona... so I had a hard time imagining Akima as the tough-as-nails chick she's supposed to be, when I kept thinking of Drew's flowery bubbly persona whenever she spoke. However, Bill Pullman's Korso is really well done, save for referring to the Drej as 'vile creatures'... he's not the kinda guy that says 'vile' - only supervillains do that, and he ain't super.

Overall, though, a good film. Amazing to look at, and enough story to keep you interested... some really interesting concepts brought up here (but unfortunately not really explored in depth) and it manages to give you stuff to think about, if you let it.

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