Titan AE Review

Dorin and I showed up to see the Titan AE premiere, sort of like Siskel and Ebert without the Brian. It's a good fun film with several rough spots. I wouldn't mind seeing it again when it comes to the local rerun theatre.

Boy separated from father as the Earth is destroyed, boy grows up in space backwater as a miniority race, boy gets dragged off into space by the good guys with a secret that can ruin the enemy, boy grows up into young man, boy defeats enemy using secret, kind of sounds like Star Wars, doesn't it? But it's not slavish in following Star Wars - there's significantly different plot twists (I'll keep them secret, similar to "I'm your father" in scale) than Star Wars, a bit more romance with the Mulan style female pilot, and the auxiliary characters can talk. The goal is avoiding extinction of the Human race, which is a bit more tension inducing, and gives our hero a chance to show that he is growing up by becoming less self centered.

Speaking of Disney characters, Dorin thought that the turtle science-expert was out of Alice in Wonderland. He didn't like the 2D characters mixed with a 3D world, though I thought the alternative of ugly 3D characters would be worse. Besides, I liked the Dragon's Lair style 2D animation and choreography (though at moments I had flashbacks to playing sequences in Dragon's Lair). I liked the unusually realistic use of gravity (free fall and associated problems with eating worms in Zero-G, bouncing off while crawling in a space suit across the outside of a spacecraft, and manouvering with a fire extinguisher). I also liked the fairly meaty story, juvenile as it was. Dorin enjoyed the popcorn while I didn't realise until too late that the upstairs vendor doesn't do matinees.

Some things which stood out are the wonderful action sequences and planetary scenes (instead of two suns over Tatooine, there's the sea of hydrogen balloon trees and the ice field in space). There was internal consistency, as they used the hydrogen balloons in the battle. The 3D ice field also features in the plot, not just as a pretty picture. Finally, they have big circuit breakers, better than in Lexx.

- Alex

Copyright © 2000 by Alexander G. M. Smith.