Think Clone Wars . . . but on a
tight budget and you’ll know what to expect of this full-length computer
animated sci-fi adventure produced by an independent California-based outfit
named Hyper Image.
Although the movie has a production date of 2007 – it took this long to get
a DVD release! – the computer-generated animation looks a lot older than that.
Don’t expect Pixar quality, or even Clone Wars
quality for that matter.
The animation is downright clunky, especially when it comes to human faces
and movements. Spaceships and hardware are beautifully rendered though. In
fact it’s roughly on the same level as the 1999 Roughnecks: Starship
Troopers Chronicles TV show. (It should come as no surprise that the
movie’s director, Robert Brousseau, also worked on episodes from that show.)
But Roughnecks is already ten years old by now!
The story involves an intergalactic pod race like the famous one in
The Phantom Menace. Our heroes – an Earth
racer named Trance Caldron and his pit team – inadvertently uncover a plot
by an alien overlord who wants to take over the galaxy. Things get a bit a
bit muddled. Somehow it is imperative that the heroes win the pod race, but
it is never exactly clear why . . . except that they really want to and that
it’d be good for their self-esteem.
The animation is seriously outdated, which means that teens used to better
graphics in their computer games will probably sneer at it.
Normally we’d say that smaller kids won’t mind the animation because there is
loads of Star Wars prequel-style action to
distract them. The only problem is that the movie has been slammed with a
PG-13 rating for “some suggestive images and action violence”. To this we’d
like to add language: Race is littered with mild profanities.
Unless words such as sh*t, bullsh*t goddamnit and bitch are already part of
your eight-year-old’s lexicon I wouldn’t recommend showing it to them. This
is a pity. Race really ought to appeal to smaller kids. Perhaps the
producers should consider bringing out a “clean” version in which they scrub
the language and deflate the pneumatic female figures a bit, who knows?