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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

trailer break: ‘Planet 51’

Take a break from work: watch a trailer…

I love the idea of the humans as the aliens — nice about face of the usual. Of course, the aliens aren’t really alien; culturally, they’re not alien at all. But we can expect but baby steps in the evolution of big-budget cinematic science fiction.

This could be the ultimate in colorblind casting: Dwayne Johnson is supplying the voice of the square-jawed Nordic blond astronaut. I’m not sure why the astronaut couldn’t have been square-jawed, dark-haired, and Polynesian, like Johnson, but I guess that wouldn’t have been quite as effective as the stereotype of the Right Stuff jock flyboy.

Planet 51 opens in the U.S. on November 20, and in the U.K. on December 4.

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