planesfirerescueThe Cars/Planes franchise soars high with the latest installment of Planes: Fire & Rescue.

Planes: Fire & Rescue

The Cars/Planes franchise soars high with the latest installment of Planes: Fire & Rescue. Many of the familiar faces are back in this one as Dusty Crophopper (Dane Cook) faces a new, personal challenge. In the first Planes film Dusty was all about finding the confidence to fly high and win races. In this one he has to learn the importance of sacrificing to help others. It is more of an outward lesson than an internal searching.

When Dusty is diagnosed with a damaged engine and discovers he may never get to race again he finds a second chance at life with the Fire and Rescue team. As he trains to get his certification he meets lots of new and interesting characters including an overzealous fan named Dipper (Julie Bowen). As with the past films in the franchise this one expertly turns everyday language into auto related lingo. The training facility is located near the remodeled Fusel Lodge (Fuselage) and the manager is more concerned with putting on airs than keeping his guests (including Boat Reynolds) safe from harm.

Planes: Fire and Rescue has a positive message and the humor is witty. Granted if you have watched the past Cars and Planes film a lot with your kids you will find several of the jokes and laughs familiar and regurgitated. Luckily the new characters like Windlifter (Wes Studi) and Blade Ranger (Ed Harris) give it a fresh coat of paint. The graphics are stellar but that is no surprise these days. You often feel as if you are soaring through the sky with Dusty and his pals. This is sure to delight the younger viewers in the crowd.

The excitement of the film builds when the Fire and Rescue team have to battle a huge forest fire that is looming close to the lodge. This is a chance to learn about all sort of different machines that are used to fight fires and what their functions are. They are highly animated and adventurous and add extra flavor to the film. They main story of course does revolve  around Dusty and his need to embrace his defect and take this second chance.

Planes: Fire & Rescue is rated PG for action and some peril. The action is tense as they fight the fires and some of the planes take a few lumps. It is in 3D so make sure your kids are old enough to want to deal with the glasses the whole time. There are plenty of laughs for adults too; all and all not a bad option for a safe family outing. I give it 3.5 out of 5 waterfalls. It is a solid film and certainly a nice addition to the franchise.

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