Not a Movie Review: Home (DreamWorks, 2015)

A kid’s animated movie featuring a young woman of color and the most terrifying alien invasion sequence I’ve ever seen.

Disclaimer: As usual, Not-a-Movie-Review, does not purport to tell you whether YOU should like a movie, but whether a movie entertained ME.

Home, a DreamWorks Studio production is, by my estimation and by the families visiting the theatres, a hit making $54 million dollars this weekend. Considering the competition, Get Hard (Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart) I don’t think it should have been too difficult…

Home features two actors I do not follow personally, but I hear one of them is a famous singer, that if I were twenty years younger, I might care about or even like, the other, a television comedic actor for a show with a large geek fan base making jokes about smart people, comic books and relativity, in that order.

Rihanna and Jim Parsons in a selfie contrasting their computerized alter egos in Home, Oh and Tip.

Rihanna plays a young cat-obsessed loner who is perfectly unhappy with the state of a Boov-infested Earth. She wants nothing more than to be reunited with her mother, who has been relegated to a reservation on Australia (more on that later).

Jim Parsons plays the alien invader protagonist, Oh (named for his oh-so-annoying personality traits and bombastic enthusiasm for not making friends) with members of his species, who are known for enjoying, nay desiring intense privacy on their homeworld. He is brilliant, off-putting, and socially ackward, a role Parsons doesn’t have to reach for if you’ve watched The Big Bang Theory.

Speaking of Oh’s homeworld, we get a glimpse of the place but are not privy to an explanation of what happened to said homeworld. Adding to my dismay was the video clip of what happened to the alien invaders (who call themselves, the Boov’s) previous planets of occupation before being forced to leave said worlds.

Of all the things I loved about this movie, this missing clip was the one thing I was unhappy about. It was the clip which sold me on the movie as a whole.

The setup: the Boov are a nomadic race of superior intellect but a less-than-courageous species. Judging from a missing clip, the Boov must be a delicious species, sought by discerning aliens across the galaxy.

Perhaps this is why in the face of any danger, the Boov consider it a cultural failing to do anything other than flee in stark-raving terror. They have made the act of escaping harm, an art form.

The Boov celebrate their arrival at a perfect planet, free of predatory, carnivorous unicorns and unfortunately hungry laser-squid. This marvelous world was spared from Boov colonization by an untimely asteroid.

Watch the clip:

While this missing clip does not make an appearance in the movie, Steve Martin chews the scenery in this movie as the Boov Captain, upon whose lack of courage currently guides the Boov hive-mind, stealing the scene pretty much every time he’s on the screen. Well done, Steve.

Home is a simple movie, a road trip where two aliens meet, terrify each other, threaten each other ominously, play music, eat chocolate and learn redeeming features about each other. Predictable, but fun to watch, and the animation is stellar. Home entertains fabulously. Four out of five stars. (I take one away for the lack of the Almost Home Trailer. We’ll get into that after the spoiler warning.)

POSTSCRIPT: I shall reveal secrets in this part, so if you haven’t been to see it, you have my endorsement, go see it and then come back here for the extra, otherwise a spoiler or two will appear here…

The reason the missing clip bothered me so, was it set the Boov up as a sympathetic, nay whimsical species whose troubles finding a home seemed almost comical and their quest was going to be part of why we care about them.

Not even close. Instead the Boov stage the most terrifying alien invasion I have ever witnessed in a movie. Something so fast, so complete and so thorough, it is only through happenstance we have a movie at all. A testament to the idea that a species could come from space and subsequently take over our world in a matter of hours.

The Boov, a species known for running, conquers the Earth in what looks like an afternoon. Without shedding a drop of blood.

And in a little under five minutes.

The entire human race shipped to a reservation, a terrifying start to what is an otherwise enjoyable kiddie movie. Steven Hawkings fears of hostile alien interaction given a cute and geometrically pleasing form.

Kids won’t notice this. Adults, feel free to recoil in horror. Keep smiling though, the kids don’t need to know what’s really happening.

Underneath that cute, color-transforming, highly durable, and likely very delicious, alien demeanor, the Boov are… monsters!

Thaddeus Howze is a California-based technologist and author who has worked with computer technology since the 1980's doing graphic design, computer science, programming, network administration and IT leadership.

As a science fiction writer fond of penning alien invasion, he realizes the Boov have kicked it up a notch and he will have to reconsider everything he knows about what an alien invasion can look like. He is likely to recover in a few weeks. You can read about one of his alien invasions right here on Medium in a publication serial called: Eye of Storms.