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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Space Chimps 2: Zartog Strikes Back
Space Chimps 2: Zartog Strikes Back
Fox // PG // October 5, 2010
List Price: $22.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Preston Jones | posted November 4, 2010 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie

I'll admit it up front: somehow, in all my movie-watching, I missed the cinematic glory that is 2008's Space Chimps. It might have something to do with the fact that I'm neither five years old or starved for entertainment that actively insults my intelligence, but even when I happen to stumble upon the film on HBO, I can't change the channel fast enough. Fortunately for me, the straight-to-DVD sequel Space Chimps 2: Zartog Strikes Back recaps almost every major development from the previous film before the plot of this second installment gets going. Lucky, lucky me -- and how thoughtful of director John H. Williams.

What amazes me even more than the fact that there's a sequel to Space Chimps is that the filmmakers somehow managed to get three of the main actors from the first film -- Stanley Tucci, Cheryl Hines and Patrick Warburton -- to return here. I mean, I understand that a sequel was inevitable, particularly since Space Chimps effectively doubled its budget at the box office. But was it something in Rob Moreland's screenplay that totally dazzled the returning actors (he co-wrote the first Space Chimps)? Or does Andy Samberg just employ better lawyers? Whatever the reason, the character of Ham, originally voiced by Samberg, is given life by Tom Kenny here.

The plot, such as it is (the film runs but a scant 76 minutes), concerns Comet (voiced by Zack Shada), a technical assistant who yearns to visit Malgor, the planet discovered in the first film, but who is deleted from the flight manifesto because of budget cuts. After accidentally launching himself into orbit and meeting up with alien buddy Kilowatt (voiced by Laura Bailey), which might be the most annoying sidekick character created in the last decade, and bopping around the planet for a while, he returns to Earth to help Ham, Titan (Warburton), Luna (Hines) and Houston (Carlos Alazraqui) reclaim Mission Control from the clutches of alien menace Zartog (voiced by John DiMaggio). Oh, and Jane Lynch turns up voicing a scientist. Sorry if you were expecting ... I don't know ... something a little more complicated, but that's effectively Space Chimps 2 in a nutshell.

I would imagine only children of a very young age -- say, no older than three -- would sit still for the duration of Space Chimps 2. It's utterly brainless and hardly entertaining, except in that "Ooh, pretty colors moving quickly!" kind of way. I can't fathom parents subjecting their kids to this in good conscience, unless it's some kind of punishment. When a small mountain of quality animated films, like, oh, anything Pixar's ever released, are available on DVD and Blu-ray, there's really no excuse for dreck like this to be sold in stores, never mind bought by an unsuspecting public. Avoid Space Chimps 2: Zartog Strikes Back like a case of scabies.

The DVD

The Video:

Space Chimps 2: Zartog Strikes Back arrives on DVD with a 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. It's a computer-animated flick, circa 2010, so there's not much to complain about here. Colors pop off the screen, there's plenty of crisp detail in the images and there's scarcely a nit to pick with this visual presentation. Other than the fact that it's Space Chimps 2, that is.

The Audio:

The English, Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack, much like the visuals, is a product of pipeline filmmaking in the 21st century. The surrounds get the occasional workout, with score and dialogue never forced to compete for primacy and allowing viewers to hear every last inane utterance in Space Chimps 2. Optional English and Spanish subtitles are also included.

The Extras:

A three minute, 59 second music video for Shada's absolutely horrible pop-rock song "Liftoff" (presented in fullscreen) and a one minute, 34 second alternate scene of "Jagu's Dance" (presented in anamorphic widescreen) are the only bonus features on the disc. (Guess the filmmakers didn't feel like showing up to defend themselves with a commentary track or making-of featurette.).

Final Thoughts:

I'll admit it up front: somehow, in all my movie-watching, I missed the cinematic glory that is 2008's Space Chimps. It might have something to do with the fact that I'm neither five years old or starved for entertainment that actively insults my intelligence, but even when I happen to stumble upon the film on HBO, I can't change the channel fast enough. Fortunately for me, the straight-to-DVD sequel Space Chimps 2: Zartog Strikes Back recaps almost every major development from the previous film before the plot of this second installment gets going. I would imagine only children of a very young age -- say, no older than three -- would sit still for the duration of Space Chimps 2. It's utterly brainless and hardly entertaining, except in that "Ooh, pretty colors moving quickly!" kind of way. I can't fathom parents subjecting their kids to this in good conscience, unless it's some kind of punishment. When a small mountain of quality animated films, like, oh, anything Pixar's ever released, are available on DVD and Blu-ray, there's really no excuse for dreck like this to be sold in stores, never mind bought by an unsuspecting public. Avoid Space Chimps 2: Zartog Strikes Back like a case of scabies. Skip it.

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