Reviews: Titan AE

Ehm, a review of Titan AE?

I half-expected it to be childish (based on the fact that it was animated and not from Japan), but it was actually on par with most adult sci-fi. It had amazing effects, and I especially liked the Drej, now they are some awesome alien villains. I found the characters to be well-portrayed, too. Overall, it was a good movie.

-Xavius, Sci-Fi Nerd

Out with a dud

You have a problem when the most revolutionary thing about your film is the way it premiered. We're supposed to care about the Earth being blown up, and although the sequence is a nice one, instead of giving us time to digest life on Earth, something that would help us care, we start at it's destruction. Then there's Cale switching from being okay with his father leaving him to not being okay with it in an instant.

The plot is kind of fast-paced, but that doesn't work to its advantage since we don't get enough time to really digest the settings. We never get a chance to properly explore them. The plot's also formulaic and not without its share of cliches.

The animation is average at best and while some 3D effects are cool (i.e. the ice rings), others are not so great and feel unfinished such as the cliffs at the end. At times the CGI can look unpleasing to the eye. The movements of the Drej look pretty clunky for menacing villains.

All the characters are stock characters, with the possible exceptions of Preed and Gune (aka "the most Bluth-y character in the movie) and they simply aren't compelling.

Cale's shift in character is invisible, and not in a good way like the cuts in Birdman. He goes from not caring about the future of the human race to actually giving a damn without anything to signal it. According to the director's commentary, it happens during his escape from the Drej mothership but there is nothing in that sequence to suggest such. Speaking of which, the reveal of Korso working for the Drej just feels random and out of place because there's nothing to suggest it before that moment. If Korso was as pessimistic and cynical as Cale initially was, why didn't he just cater to Cale's greed?

Developing upon the father/son-type of relationship Cale and Korso are supposed to have would have definitely increased the quality of the film.

The Drej are really one-dimensional villains that only get a hint of complexity by a line from Akima. The only thing I loved about them was that they looked like something out of Tron.

Maybe Titan A.E. would have been better as a video game, a PS2 game even. Still, in a time when Hollywood is apparently devoted to remakes and reboots, it's interesting that movies like this are ignored as a remake can give it a second chance, a chance to be what it could have been and should have been.