This past weekend I went to see the new DreamWorks Animation film Home. Home stars Rihanna as Gratuity ‘Tip’ Tucci, a seventh grade girl from Barbados and Jim Parsons as Oh, an alien invader. Oh is a Boov, an alien species known for running away from the enemy Gorgs, colonizing other planets to hide and then getting those planets blown up. The Boov come to Earth and use their superior technology to relocate the human population. During this process Tip is separated from her mother Lucy Tucci, voiced by Jennifer Lopez. From there a series of unfortunate events cause Oh and Tip to team up to find her mom and save Earth. Now, before I get into the nitty gritty, let me preface this by saying that my expectations were not high. This film was not voiced by animation greats like Cree Summers nor had a score written by Phil Collins. Nonetheless, I wanted it to better than what it was. Now let’s get into it.
The movie has a stellar premise, but an awful execution. The movie revolves around colonization, occupation and displacement and centers around a Black girl who comes from a former colony. What could have been a strong lesson on imperialism, ended up a tepid ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ PSA. Aside from the theme, the writing is lackluster all around. The first 15 to 20 minutes are palatable but the middle drags on without much action or intrigue. The characters themselves are barely fleshed out. Parsons’ Oh is hard to warm up to and seems like a juvenile alien version of his character on the Big Bang Theory. Rihanna’s performance is solid although her character isn’t given a lot to work with. The best parts of the film are with Smeck, the Boov commander voiced by Steve Martin. He granted personality and depth to his character that the script probably left out. My other favorite character? The cat. The ending landed solidly with a good twist. However, I don’t know if I enjoyed it because it was written better or because it was the end of the film. Now, the entire film wasn’t a disaster. The visuals were fun and the soundtrack was pretty decent, featuring songs from JLo and Rihanna. But I wish I had more to praise about the film.
Yes, Home is a step forward for representation but only that. Tip’s island heritage was left unexplored. Her character flattened midway through and began to sound like a talking baby doll. If you want to support the film I suggest going to the theater, buying a ticket, turning around and going home to watch A Different World on Netflix. Diversity is not only our faces, it is our stories as well. I hope that the money generated from the box office shows executives that diversity is supported. Thus in the future they can invest in diverse, talented writers to create the stories we want to see. 2/5 stars.