- Released Internationally on 28/05/10
- Released in Malta by KRS on 23/06/10 in 3D
In a nutshell
In 2008, three annoying chimps ventured into space. Unfortunately, they didn't stay there.
I imagine there are many factors contributing to the decision to make a sequel. Money's probably a driving factor (Sex and the City 2), as in an unfinished story to tell (Iron Man 2). Sometimes a concept works so well and is so liked that filmmakers find ways of extending the story to justify the return of their beloved characters (Shrek 2). And sometimes a fresh pair of hands tries to succeed where the original film failed (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan). With Space Chimps 2, the most plausible reason seems to be that since somebody had already designed all the characters, they realised they could quickly hammer out some semblance of a script and make another film with minimal effort.
The film is mostly set on Earth, where the chimps run amok in the space station, awaiting orders. The youngest and most eager of the trained monkeys gets cut from the upcoming mission for budget reasons, and in an experimental and angry mood he inadvertently launches the space shuttle, with only himself inside. Nobody notices the shuttle is gone, because all those in ground control are busy eating ice-cream sundaes. There are further mind-boggling plot twists, but I won't ruin them for you.
The voice cast manages to act badly, perfectly matching their crudely-animated counterparts. This is probably the first time I ever saw awkward silences in an animated film, and the script and plot stutter and drag in equal amount, ultimately telling a story that could have (and probably should have) been a half-hour television episode. Stanley Tucci stains his filmography as the senator, while other voices of varying quality breathe life into the four main chimps. Rounding off the cast are three human scientists who offer a brief promise of humour, a big-headed sidekick who's so annoying she made me miss Jar-Jar Binks, and a Vogon-like bad guy, who looks like his animation was abandoned half-way.
Once again, why?
It's not all bad. Whilst clawing at reasons to like this film I had to admit I'm most probably not its target audience. I'd venture to guess that there's enough colour, simplicity, talking animals and crude action to appeal to toddlers, but more discerning children will find smarter stimulation this summer amongst dragons, ogres and talking toys. This might keep your three-year old occupied for just over an hour, but you’d better pray they don’t ask you to sit with them. There are worse ways to pass the time, but most of them are not readily available outside of Guantanamo Bay.