Convinced humans need their help, Captain Smek (voiced by Steve Martin) leads the Boov alien race to take over Earth and relocate its inhabitants to their idea of a “happy human town,” which happens to be in Australia. But when a toothy little Boov named Oh (voiced by Jim Parsons) accidentally sends an e-vite for his “warming of house party” to everyone in the galaxy, he tips off the Boov’s enemy race to their whereabouts. The first of many important lessons from the movie: Beware “reply-all.”
Abiding by the Boov motto “it’s never too late to run away,” Oh chooses to flee and meets a human girl named Gratuity “Tip” Tucci (voiced by Rihanna). Armed with a hover car that runs on convenience store slushies, Oh and Tip embark on a journey around the planet in hopes of stopping Oh’s e-vite from reaching the enemy Gorg and reuniting Tip with her mom. Introductions to humanity are woven into the adventure, as Tip helps improve Oh’s English, explains the importance of keeping pets as companions, and shares human music. Home‘s score—a pleasing mix of new Rihanna tunes new and old, Jennifer Lopez jams, and heavy electronic beats—fill the sky during Tip and Oh’s drive.
The comedy in Captain Smek’s misunderstanding of how to use everyday human objects and Oh’s poor grasp of English add light nuances that drive the story forward—at times it feels like Oh could be an alien version of Parsons’ Big Bang Theory character. The more Oh sees of the world, the more he questions his race’s mantra (Boov normally will not embark on an action that has less than a 50 percent success rate). Tip shows Oh friendship for the first time, while discovering the true meaning of “home.”
Tip and Oh continue to face new obstacles in meeting their individual goals, but realize they need each other to succeed (of course). But unlike many kids’ movies, Home has multiple morals to its story, which it reveals through small interactions between the characters throughout the movie, rather than an evergreen statement at the end. The combination of Home‘s layered message, fun score, and clever comedy make it a colorful choice for moviegoers of any age. A–