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Titan A.E.

Directed by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman

Although plot is clearly secondary in a movie of this type, there are some story holes and stylistic choices that cannot be ignored. Given that the script was cooked up by the usually quick-witted Edlund (The Tick), Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) and John August (Go), its flaws are especially surprising. Did the dialog during the film's first half have to be quite so expository? Would a turtle-faced alien really use the oh-so-'90s taunt "Who's your daddy?" And since the South Park movie so hilariously deconstructed it as a cliché, can anyone take seriously a would-be tense moment when a character stares at a computer keyboard during a crisis situation and says something to the effect of "If I can just re-route the encryptions"?

Let's not even begin to count nitpicky inconsistencies, the way Internet geeks undoubtedly will, because there are plenty of obvious, major ones to consider. If the Titan can defeat the Drej, why didn't it when they first attacked? Why would characters engaged in a highly covert discussion leave the door open and yell at one another when there are clearly people around who aren't supposed to overhear? And during a chase through a field of ice crystals, the optical illusion "hall of mirrors" effect not only fools the characters' eyes but also throws off their sensors! What, they don't have basic sonar or heat detection in the year 3028?

None of this ultimately matters, really. Folks will go to Titan A.E. looking for summer escapism, and most of them will be pleased. Is it worth the goofy characters and weak story for the effects and action sequences? Absolutely. Go, have fun. Just don't expect the American equivalent of Ghost in the Shell or Princess Mononoke. Titan A.E. is merely a baby step toward animation as a medium not just for kids, but hey, as the Chinese say, that's how the journey of a thousand miles begins.

Titan A.E.: Despite its faults, the film delivers some of the most well-thought-out and -executed action sequences to hit the screen in quite some time.
Titan A.E.: Despite its faults, the film delivers some of the most well-thought-out and -executed action sequences to hit the screen in quite some time.

Opens June 16.

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