Planes 2: Fire & Rescue ***Dir: Bobs Gannaway. With the voices of: Dane Cook, Ed Harris, Julie Bowen. 85 mins. Cert: U.
I can remember a time when the Disney animators pulled out something truly special for the summer holidays; here we have a sequel to what was conceived as a straight-to-DVD spin-off, featuring Dane Cook as the voice of a talking cropduster. If you’re merely looking to distract youngsters, this at least boasts more charm and craft than The Nut Job: after some frantic first-act routefinding, it relaxes into its sunny, pleasingly detailed universe, as Cook’s boy racer Dusty – given an unusual character flaw in a faulty gear shaft – starts a new career patrolling a national park. The dropping of powder onto forest fires provides one fresh angle: the action’s colourful, the vistas as organic as pixels will allow, and – once it gets past the ADHD-enabling editing of the early stages – considered application of 3D heightens the sense of space and glide. Not much magic, but an appreciable level of polish.
Planes 2: Fire & Rescue opens in Scotland and Ireland today, and around the rest of the UK on Fri 8th.