The Great Wall
Unlike any American blockbuster you've seen, a conservative movie with action set pieces that are actually inventive and thrilling enough to be worthwhile.
"Space Chimps" is delightful from beginning to end: A goofy space opera that sends three U.S. chimptronauts rocketing to a galaxy, as they say, far, far away. Although it's aimed at a younger market and isn't in the same science-fiction league as "WALL*E," it's successful at what it wants to do: Take us to an alien planet and present us with a large assortment of bug-eyed monsters, not to mention a little charmer nicknamed Kilowatt, who lights up when she gets excited, or afraid, or just about anything else.
The story starts with the circus career of the chimp Ham III (voice of Andy Samberg), the grandson of the first chimp launched by NASA into space (and, yes, that first chimp really was named Ham). Ham III works at being shot out of a cannon and never quite landing where he should. Once, when he goes really high, he considers the beauty of the moon and outer space, and has a "Right Stuff" moment, of which there are several. He feels keenly that he hasn't lived up to the family tradition.
Meanwhile, the U.S. space program faces a crisis. One of its deep space probes has disappeared into a worm hole. It is perhaps a measure of the sophistication of younger audiences that no attempt is made to explain what a worm hole is. Perhaps that's because worm holes are only conjecture, anyway, and if you can't say there is one, how can you say what it is?
What with one thing and another, Ham III finds himself enlisted in the crew of a space flight to follow the probe into the worm hole and see what happened to it. Joining the mission is a big chimp named Titan (Patrick Warburton), and the cute (in chimp terms) Luna (Cheryl Hines). Hurtling through what looks like a dime-store version of the sound-and-light fantasy in "2001," they land on a planet where the local creatures are ruled by a big, ugly tyrant named Zartog (Jeff Daniels).