Space Chimps 2: Zartog Strikes Back
Director: John H Williams
Starring (voices of): Tom Kenny, Cheryl Hines, Patrick Warburton, John DiMaggio, Zack Shada
One of many sequels to come in 2011, this sequel to 2008's Space Chimps rejoins the original group of intergalactic primates, Ham II, Luna and Titan (the voices of Kenny, Hines and Warburton respectively), now worldwide celebrities. Longing to join their ranks is Comet (Shada), a tech chimp desperate to be proven as an astronaut. When he accidentally sends himself into space, he must join his heroes to save the day when the evil Zartog (DiMaggio) takes over mission control back on Earth. The fact that two of the voice cast are not returning (the lead voice from the original, Andy Samburg, and Jeff Daniels) is not a great start, but the completely mundane feel of this pointless sequel is the biggest disappointment. Bringing characters that were uninteresting even in the first film is one thing, but building a story around those characters interspersed with bad visual comedy and a poor script means even at the very short running time of 76 minutes, the film drags. The animation looks amateurish next to the work of the bigger CG studios such as DreamWorks or Pixar, and as such the film cannot live up to such a high benchmark. Overall Space Chimps 2 is not offensively bad, just boring and bland. Even the addition of 3D is not as much a plus point as it once was, as the format is commonplace now (especially in animation). With far more anticipated sequels in the coming months (such as Kung Fu Panda 2 and Pixar's Cars 2)this simian space adventure is one you may want to miss.
* James Luxford