February 25, 2009

Rescue Heroes: The Movie (2003)

AFTER I PROMISED DASH we could rent Rescue Heroes: The Movie, I wasn’t sure how I felt about letting him watch a movie based on a toy line. But who am I kidding: If there was a Stretch Armstrong movie when I was a kid, I’d have made a beeline for the box office. (Breaking: Stretch Armstrong: The Movie in development. Seriously.)

I’ll rely on the back of the box, since I don’t think I could make it sound more exciting:
• A series of mysterious lightning storms wreaks havoc worldwide as they spiral through the atmosphere toward Greenland. Once they collide, they will create one massive storm that will result in cataclysmic destruction.
• The Rescue Heroes use their new Mission Select equipment to contain the disasters all over the world caused by these strange storms. But Billy Blazes is poisoned on a mission and getting weaker by the moment, and Rocky Canyon is grounded for insubordination. So the team is short-handed!
• Will they find the cure to save Billy? Will their teamwork and strength be enough to solve the mystery of the storms and save the world in time?

In terms of action, Rescue Heroes: The Movie doesn’t disappoint – there seems to be an intense, action-packed disaster every 10 minutes or so, including a few with children in peril. Pretty intense for a kids’ film – but I guess, no peril, no rescue, right?
• The front of the box shouts, “It's the Rescue Heroes team like you've never seen them before – in CGI animation!” And for 2003, the CGI is pretty impressive, resembling an odd blend of late-‘90s computer animation and current motion-capture FX.
• The movement of the heroes is very fluid and lifelike, but much like the humans in Fly Me To The Moon, they lack depth and tone (perhaps to intentionally look somewhat toy-like?).
• The heroes use a lot of cool gear, and speak in lots of hi-tech mumbo-jumbo – which could either be confusing to young viewers, or sound really cool.
• For the grown-ups, there are some great (or groan-inducing) puns for incidental character names. For example, take this gem from an avalanche in Switzerland: “Bob Sled and Al Pine are on the scene.”

Rescue Heroes: The Movie is a good combination of fun action with some important lessons woven in – primarily, the value of teamwork and knowing when to let someone else be the “go-to guy” in a situation.

Watch two trailers for Rescue Heroes: The Movie

Rating: 3 stars (out of 5).

What did Dash think?
Dash was glued to the set during this film, although he did ask, “When is this gonna be over?” in the middle of the big finale. Still, he said he’d recommend Rescue Heroes: The Movie to his classmates at kindergarten.

Will your kids like it?
If Dash is any indication, then yes, if we’re talking about young boys. (For what it’s worth, I probably would’ve thought it was cool if I was a kid.)
• Young girls, I’m not so sure. There's a fair amount of female characters, though it’s a mixed bag of role models – for every female Rescue Hero, there’s another female who’s in peril or more concerned about her makeup.
• As I mentioned earlier, the movie is pretty action-packed for a young kids’ film. Kindergartners or older should be fine, but I’d say it’s too intense for the pre-K crowd.

Will your FilmMother like it?
She may appreciate the values of teamwork and being brave, but I doubt she’d want to actually sit through the whole film.

Rescue Heroes: The Movie
* Director: Ron Pitts
* Screenwriter: Brent Piaskoski
* Stars: Norm Spencer, Joe Motiki, Lenore Zann, Deborah Odell, Rod Wilson, Martin Roach
* MPAA Rating: G

Buy this movie for less at Half.com >>


Kristin said...

Any film with groan-inducing puns is okay in my book. ;)

Keith said...

I've got a young cousin who's talked about watching this movie. I might have to check it out with him.

Gemma said...

Sounds as if the producers had a good idea here (or the toymakers did). Loved your reference to Stretch Armstrong! Funny!

Anonymous said...

I just want to say, that I watched this when I was in Pre-K, and this was my favorite movie ever. I still think this is a great movie. One of the defining parts of my childhood in fact.

Anonymous said...

2003! I feel old now. Best child hood movie ever

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