xXx: Return of Xander Cage
The last forty minutes of the movie do come together in a pretty diverting way.
While watching “Home,” a comical animated spin on alien-attack thrillers with the usual tacked-on touchy-feely messages, I began to get bored as did the families seated around me. Rare is the child-filled theater that falls silent during the opening minutes of any movie, especially when they should have been laughing at Steve Martin’s supposed wild-and-crazy vocals as Smek, the daffy leader of a nomadic race of pastel-hued outer-space blobs known as the Boov.
Then I started to grow nostalgic. Before donning cheap plastic 3-D glasses was considered de rigueur and when artists still prided themselves on drawing images by hand, Disney made a brave move and released the two-dimensional “Lilo & Stitch” in 2002—just as the computerized revolution that began with “Toy Story” and continued with “Shrek” and “Ice Age” was about to make such non-CG cartoon titles nearly obsolete.
Somehow, this disarming story about a lonely orphaned Hawaiian girl whose best pal is an ill-tempered fugitive space creature that looks like a mutant koala bear and acts like John Belushi at an all-day buffet found its way into the hearts of moviegoers.
It didn’t rely on a green ogre picking wax out of his trumpet ears or a squirrel-rat being continually tortured by the forces of nature. The charming oddity managed to capture the spirit of the islands by extolling the concept of “ohana,” which celebrates family and unity, while spinning Elvis Presley oldies on its soundtrack. Whatever sci-fi elements were involved were kept to a minimum. Instead, the focus was on appealing characters, relatable relationships and delightful forays into Polynesian kitsch. And, despite being an underdog, the low-tech Oscar nominee for best animated feature ended up saying “aloha” to $271 million in ticket sales worldwide.