You've got to hand it to humanity; we're a lucky breed. Every time an Evil Alien Race threatens us with destruction, we somehow find a courageous, rag tag group just waiting to help. And what courageous, rag tag group would be complete without the heroic youngster with - wait for it - a destiny. Withering cynicism aside, it must be remembered that ,with Titan AE, we're deep inside the nebula known as Kidflickia.
Yet with the amount of writing talent behind the script (John August penned Go, while Joss Whedon created TV's Buffy) you could be forgiven for expecting a top-notch reworking of well-used space-faring themes and crackling, witty dialogue. Sadly, it looks like they've taken the script and tossed it to a pack of sci-fi loving college nerds who then turned into a by-the-numbers quest pic.
Occasional moments of humour poke through, but it's clearly not enough to interest the cast. Even Titan's core audience - those whose hands rarelyleave the joypads of their PlayStations - will find the script tame compared with some of today's more complex games. But at least they'll appreciate the sheer balls-to-the-wall speed of some scenes, the rawk/grunge soundtrack and the booming bass on every explosion.
But while the sound is up to scratch, the spectacle leaves a lot to be desired. Yes, the 3-D computer animation looks great in places (a trip through an ice field is gloriously rendered), but it just highlights the glaring, old-fashioned character animation. The cartoon revolution which struck Disney around the time of Beauty And The Beast clearly bypassed Bluth and co, and he's still content to churn out figures who look like they stepped jerkily out of his pioneering '80s videogame Space Ace.
However, despite all its problems, Titan AE adds up to an enjoyable whole that will keep less cynical early-teens quiet - even if the movie isn't.
Never has a film more wanted to be a computer game. The plot's straight from a How To manual and the "next generation" animation is distinctly dodgy at times. But those after solid, undemanding sci-fi action will at least walk away happy.