The Boov are an alien race known for running away from danger and speaking in broken English. While in the process of running away from a scary looking other alien they invade earth removing every single human by brute force and inhabiting the planet, only one human escaped. Tip (voiced by Rihanna) by sheer luck/misfortune managed to escape the boov’s clutches and is now trying to find her mother before she unwittingly teams up with Oh (voiced by Jim Parsons) a particularly clumsy and irritating Boov whose own idiocy has led the scary looking alien to home in on earth with the potential to destroy it. The two must travel to Paris to both find Tip’s mother and reconcile Oh’s outrageously stupid and probably unforgiveable mistake.
I am more willing to be lenient on a children’s movie in terms of plot holes (of which Home has far too many to count) and overall structure. However those are only two of Home’s problems and it has a whole host of others. Probably the worst of these are as follows:
Lack in any character development whatsoever. I could not tell you what kind of a person tip was. It is brilliant that we are seeing POC protagonists in mainstream movies like this, but it is such a disappointment when they just aren’t given characters. She has no personality traits, other than she is younger than 16 but can drive and misses her mum. Oh is no better, his traits being that other boov find him irritating and that he makes mistakes. Two dimensional doesn’t even begin to cover it. Of all the problems in the film this is probably the worst because it contributes and sometimes causes all of the other ones.
It’s not funny enough. There are laughs in Home, 100% of those come from the Steve Martin voiced villain Smek and all are passing giggles or loud nose inhalations. The Jim Parsons broken English thing wears thin after about 15 minutes and Rihanna isn’t given any comic lines. The soundtrack would have you believe certain scenes have comic value but often what they are showing is either a mass exodus of the human race or the destruction of famous landmarks coupled with the probable death of many Boov. Which leads me onto my next point.
The Soundtrack. There are two halves to this soundtrack one is the more classic movie score half and the other is the pop songs. Let’s start with the movie score. It’s not terrible, but at the same time it isn’t effective and often seems to counteract emotions you see on screen. And then we have the pop songs, I actually really like popular music in films just look at Tarantino or Scorsese, but in this film they are grossly misused. We watch the invasion of our planet to a cheerfull Charli XCX song (actually a really good song, but still horribly misused) making one think “but I like humanity, am I supposed to be cheerful watching families being split up? And people being abducted?” we later have what is supposed to be a big emotional sequence absolutely undermined by a lacklustre pop song with no emotional weight. The soundtrack is lazy is just used a way to try and shoehorn in popular music.
And finally, there is 0 chemistry between the main characters. You watch them hug towards the end of the film and it doesn’t make sense, there is no character bonding and their friendship appears entirely based around each of them exploiting the other to get what they want. The lack in chemistry may be down to Jim Parsons and Rihanna, it may be down to a poor script or it may be down to the fact that the two characters would not logically like each other within the plot. Or it could just be that both are 1 dimensional characters and so can’t have any chemistry anyway.
That is not all of the problems but it all of the ones I will be able to talk about without giving spoilers. It’s really not very good. And it’s not ok just to be loud and colourful when it’s a kid’s movie. Just look at something like Toy Story or Paddington more recently. This is a lacklustre attempt to take money purely because when it was released no other children’s movies were out. And it worked.