PLANES: FIRE AND RESCUE – A Review by John Strange

By: John ’Doc’ Strange
Directed by: Bobs Gannaway
Cast: Dane Cook, Ed Harris, Julie Bowen
MPAA Rating: PG (for action and some peril)
Selig Rating: FULL PRICE
Runtime: 83 Min.
The sequel to Planes continues the story of racing legend Dusty Crophopper (voiced by Dane Cook).  Dusty comes home to attend the annual Corn Festival and get in some training with his mentor and trainer, Skipper (Stacy Keach).  Dusty has a malfunction on a training flight and has to come to terms with the strong likelihood that he will never be able to race again.  In fact, he must never push his revs into the red again or risk blowing his engine.
In a fit of anger, Dusty takes off and experiences more trouble.  Trying to land he clips a building and starts a fire.  The fire is only put out when the group fighting the fire knock the water tower down.
The officials from the TMST arrive and shut down the airport until the fire fighting team is upgraded.  This means completely rebuilding Mayday (Hal Holbrook) plus adding a second firefighter to the team.  Dusty volunteers to be that second team member.
Mayday calls his buddy Blade Ranger (Ed Harris) up at Piston Peak National Park.  Ranger leads a firefighting team that protects the park from the forest fires.
Blade grudgingly allows Dusty to train (after he has Dusty’s landing gear replaced with pontoons).  The training goes poorly because Dusty will not overtax his engine   No matter how hard he trains, he simply can’t make himself endanger his engine.  But without pushing he will not pass his certification to fight fires.
A huge forest fire erupts and the team leaps into action.  Dusty is forced to reach deep within himself to save his team and the tourists trapped by the flames.  The action scenes as they battle the blaze will keep the attention both kids and adults. 
Of course a film like this is nothing without a great back story.  The writers have crafted some amazing histories for the characters which result in a slew of great Easter eggs.  Listen for the voices of some of your favorite actors and actresses!  
Disney’s Planes: Fire and Rescue is the movie for you to see with your children this summer.  Enjoy the movie and afterward have a talk with them about firefighters and what they do every day.
The Selig Rating Scale:
FULL PRICE – Excellent movie, well worth the price
MATINEE – Good movie
DOLLAR – OK movie
CABLE – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
FREEBIE – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.
COMMERCIAL TV – Commercials and cutting to the allotted time will not hurt this one.
FORGET IT! – Bad. If you see this one, do yourself a favor and keep it to yourself.
GET YOUR TORCHES – BAD! – Burn the script, the writer, the director and maybe even the actors!
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