We have seen many movies in which kids have interacted with extraterrestrials before. From E.T. to Lilo and Stitch, we have seen this been done before. "Home" is a movie that tries this formula, and fails. It wants to be a funny and smart animated movie and it turns out that the film is neither funny nor smart. It's the basic kids' movie formula disguised as a DreamWorks movie and that boggles me. This was the studio that brought us great movies throughout the past decade, but sadly, this film surely ain't one of them.
The film begins with a "friendly invasion" (as the movie puts it) of Earth by an alien species known as the Boov who are led by Captain Smek (Steve Martin). They have been chased from planet to planet by the Gorg, the Boov's enemy. The humans have been relocated so the Boov can move into their homes. One Boov named Oh (Jim Parsons) is trying to make friends with the Boov, but none of them seem to like him. He decides to throw a housewarming party and invites everybody he knows to his party, and I mean everyone. Everyone in the galaxy, including the Gorg. Oh is then a fugitive on the run, and later bumps into a fourteen-year-old girl named Gratuity Tucci who goes under the name Tip (Rihanna). She is the only one not to be abducted and relocated by the Boov and is searching for her mother who was abducted along with everyone else. So, the two of them go off on a journey to find Tip's mother and clear Oh's name.
The film is based off the book "The True Meaning of Smekday" by Adam Rex and having not read the book, I don't know how much of the book was kept in the film or not, but that still doesn't excuse the film's poor story and characters. The story is about as cliche a kids movie you can get. It's not awful, but certainly not great. The characters are cut outs. We have seen all the characters before. The screwup that has a good heart, the girl who tries to be tough but has a soft side, the bully captain that has a giant ego. It's nothing new. The performances of the characters are what I'm split over the most about them. Jim Parsons' performance as Oh sometimes gets a laugh, but sometimes watching him I kept thinking of Sheldon from Big Bang Theory and wishing he would have funnier things to say. Tip is a really well-written character. She is written like a proper fourteen-year-old girl, but Rihanna's performance is what sinks her chances of being a good character. Her performance as Tip is so bland and unemotional that I'm really surprised that she got cast in the role. The only character in my opinion that actually has something funny to say and has good delivery of the lines is Steve Martin as Smek. He steals every scene of the movie he was in and was actually pretty funny in his role, maybe because he was the only Boov that could talk normally. Oh, yeah, I forgot to mention. The Boov talk like that "Can I has cheeseburger?" meme throughout the whole movie and it gets really old fast.
"Home" is a film that in my opinion is in the wrong studio's hand. I kept thinking that this film should have been in another studios hands like Illumination or maybe even Disney. Maybe they could have made the film much funnier and smarter than what DreamWorks had turned out. I don't know and I guess I never will. I don't think it would be bad to show "Home" to kids, but personally, I would just show them Lilo and Stitch instead.