Home (PG)

Starring the voice talents of: Rihanna, Jim Parsons, Steve Martin

It’s refreshing for a change to see a film about an alien invasion that actually starts with the aliens taking over the planet! That might sound a little weird, but so many films have the impending alien invasion at the climax of the film.

Home dips right on in with the Boov, a polite, but cowardly race of aliens who move to Earth to take it over and escape from their mortal enemies the Gorg. So they set about re-housing all the humans on Earth in outback Australia in Turman Show- style neighbourhoods while they go about inhabiting all our cities and getting rid of all the things they don’t need, like toilets and garbage bins…

Of course in a story like this we need some feisty protagonists and we have them in the form of Tip (Rihanna) and her cat who has narrowly missed being vacuumed up and moved to Australia. Trouble is her mum was removed and while Tip was left behind. So begins her search out of the city to find her mother.

A Boov named Oh (Jim Parsons) is our co-lead, one of the aliens who has taken his name from the exasperated sounds other Boov make when he inevitably does something wrong. He is comedically and blissfully unaware of the trouble he causes on a daily basis, so when he accidentally sends a party invite email to everyone in the universe, the Gorg discover that the Boov are on Earth. Thus Oh quickly becomes a Boov pariah and is on the run.

During his escape from the Boov he runs into Tip. While not hitting it off initially, Tip convinces Oh to help her find her mum.

There is a lot to like about this film: An unlikely partnership that begins out of need and grows into friendship that just works, a groovy soundtrack, that fact that it does tug at the heart strings and it has a brilliant sense of comic timing. This is primarily because Parsons seems as adept at voice characterisations as he is in The Big Bang Theory and Rihanna gives a much needed feisty edge to Tip. Alternately vulnerable and strong, she supplies just the right degree of independence to Tip’s personality.

The playful visual design of the film is both clever and original and its soundtrack, containing old and new Rihanna hits keeps the story moving at a cracking pace. The storytelling is refreshingly original although there’s nothing that adults taking their charges to the cinema wouldn’t have seen before.

Thematically, the film tackles issues of belonging and family, well-worn themes that Dreamworks have been using for many of their properties from Kung Fu Panda to How to Train Your Dragon.

That said, there’s a lot this film’s core audience – under 10s – won’t have seen before, so as an animated sci-fi confection for the single digits, its a well-executed story with charm for the whole family.

Questions for further discussion

  1. What does the Bible say about family? (1 Corinthians 13:13)
  2. What does the Bible say about helping others and problem solving? (Philippians 2:4, Philippians 4:13)
  3. What does the Bible say about belonging? (Galatians 3:28)

Adrian Drayton

Adrian Drayton is the Director of Reel Dialogue. A film critic and commentator on culture for 20 years, he believes in the power of cinema and the power of God to start conversations about faith and culture. He is also a massive Star Wars nerd.