Title: Space Chimps 2 – Zartog Strikes Back
Director: John H. Williams
Released: 27th September 2010
Space Chimps 2: Zartog Strikes Back follows Comet, the young tech-whiz chimp who longs to be taken seriously as a full-fledged space chimp. Having freed Planet Malgor from the tyranny of the slime ball Zartog, the hairy heroes must face their old foe once again when novice astro-chimp Comet accidentally launches himself on a solo mission through the cosmic wormhole. Comet journeys to the fantastical Planet Malgor and bonds with the adorable alien Kilowatt, living out his ultimate fantasy. However, when the feared alien ruler Zartog takes over Mission Control, Comet must show he has the right stuff and join fellow chimps Ham, Luna, and Titan to save the day.
Space Chimps 2 includes the voice talents of Jane Lynch (Glee), Andy Samberg (Saturday Night Live) & Patrick Warburton (Family Guy).
To be completely honest, at first, Space Chimps 2 feels like a bit of a crass cash-in on the success of the first Space Chimps film, however as this is fairly common perhaps it can be forgiven or overlooked. Despite that I’m not sure that the production team is really doing its best job here. This is a less than enthralling follow up to the first film which was pretty decent. It’s not terrible but it seems to be lacking some of the verse that the first film had. Having said that maybe it’s the 30-odd year old in me talking and not the child inside. This film has obviously been put together to work for a child (not like for instance the Shrek series that many adults can happily watch alongside their children because it throws in plenty of comedy for adults as well) it’s been produced with a child’s sensibilities in mind. And that’s okay. But it won’t help adults bored by the rather thin plot or the lack of slightly more adult-orientated jokes – the sort that would go over kids heads, but would enable the parents to get through the show without falling asleep. Still you can’t have a plot like that of Inception for a kids film can you? Well you could but their tiny heads might explode.
No at just 75 minutes Space Chimps 2 is definitely just for the kids. But perhaps it would have been better released as a couple of 40 minute episodes – the sort of thing you see in the supermarket for £5 in the school holidays – Kung Foo Panda 2 – but you know it’s just a short version and it’s made for DVD. That might have been the way to go with this release, rather than the theatrical cut and the 3D. But then that’s what the public want these days isn’t it? 3D? I hate it personally. Avatar was amazing at the cinema but even then it was sensibly released only in 2D because home TVs couldn’t handle Cameron’s new super-duper 3D – although I understand that the 3D home Blu-ray version it not far away from release now. But mostly any other 3D sucks. Here on Space Chimps it’s perfectly reasonable but it won’t blow you away. You’ll be just as happy with 2D I imagine and you won’t have to wear the silly, flimsy red and green cardboard glasses either. Still it’s certainly generous of the makers to provide both 2D and 3D versions on this Blu-ray as well as free glasses to watch it with. And it does look and sound great. There’s not been expense spared there. The Blu-ray boasts vivid colours, nice deep dark spacey blacks, a clear image and a great soundtrack which uses all of the speakers, fronts, centre and rears, nicely to help create a feeling of being in a spaceship or traveling through a wormhole… well at least what people think that might sounds like anyway. Ha.
This release is also packed with value-added extras so that’ll keep the kids quiet for a little longer as well I guess, if that’s your aim. Good luck and may the force be with you.