Tooncrap #42 - Wings

An Animated Nosedive
Olga Lopato: 2012

Written by: Raymond Gallant

It's been a dog's age since I've talked about a knockoff movie here on the ol' Tooncrap, and since the days of me going on about the likes of Dingo Pictures and Video Brinquedo, there's been plenty of new companies with plenty of really, really bad films just ready for that one unsuspecting aunt to give her niece or nephew that they must secretly really hate.

And this time around, it's a Russian knockoff we're focusing on. It's the 2012 release Wings, which is obviously inspired by Disney's Planes. You know, those pseudo sequels to Cars that nobody really asked for, not even most kids? But since it was a big Disney movie release, it was enough fuel for companies to slap something in stores ASAP to get whatever moolah they could, and thus we've got our little nugget of awful today. And somehow for this dub they managed to get some actual American actors in this rip-off. Names like Josh Duhamel and Hillary Duff. She ever been in any other animated movie?

What the hell is a Foodfight?

And Rob Schneider. Because you know you're in for a cinematic masterpiece when you have Adam Sandler's main ass leech involved in something. So how bad is this? Let's take to the skies and find out as we review this thing.
This movie opens with about six or seven different studios involved. With how many people are involved it almost reminds me of that one Family Guy skit where Peter gets angry at all the studio logos. We then open on an airfield as planes are flying in some sort of competition.

All while living speakers call the action. And with such enthusiasm. You can almost hear their nonexistent souls being sucked away by the lack of interesting things going on. There's planes flying for the "prestigious" Super Wings trophy.

All while stolen Disney plane models in their beta stages stare on with their dead eyes and severe lack of facial functions.

Also apparently there's little child planes, which raises a ton of questions. Do planes have sex in this world? Do female planes give birth? If these are supposed to be machines, how do they actually grow up? Why do they need balloons if they have wings...

Oh no, I've gone cross-eyed.

Things happen as they give us really confusing exposition. Meanwhile two planes fly in the sky, and then start spiraling down. One of them crashes while the other planes show their concern with their dead eyes. Despite not seeing any actual crash, I guess the coach was to blame or something? Seriously, I have no idea what the hell just happened because the movie almost feels like it was on fast forward.

We cut to one year later as we focus on a plane named Ace (played by Duhamel), who dreams of being a champion. He wants to be the very best like no one ever was. But he's in this movie, so it's just a lost cause. He's awakened by two tractors (despite his eyes being seemingly permanently open, and also considering he was talking to himself). The tractors tell him to get to work for the day, but he just decides to get back on his stack and mumble about being champ.

And I do mean mumble, with very little emotion. I assume Duhamel just did this in an afternoon and just got through it for the cheque. Cut to a crappy fake pop song and our title card as Ace flies around like a delusional fool and breaks up clouds. He talks about how he's a gift to the plane gods. He really wants to be a star.

And then out of nowhere there's an announcement that a flight team called the Hawks are looking for a new member. Ace thinks he's hallucinating, but considering all he does is imagine he's the greatest plane ever, maybe he's right to think that, considering it was just the tractors making fun of him. But can you blame them when he won't shut the hell up about this? It makes sense they they'd bust his balls... err, whatever planes have. I mean we've confirmed they can engage in some form of coitus.

But through a stroke of luck AKA plot convenience, the Hawks team is looking for a new member. Mainly because one of the members, Cyclone, keeps suggesting they don't need a fifth member. Just like all great knockoffs, the biggest problem with this movie is the exposition dumps are massive and filled with stuff that you couldn't care about. They forget the best rule is showing and not telling.

Ace arrives to the stadium, with no issue, and chases after a robot cleaner, all while not knowing just what the hell he's even doing here. He runs into the Hawks and asks to tryout. The Hawks leader believes Ace to be a member of another flight team known as the Angels, and brings him on board without even making a single reference check, because characters in these types of movies are idiots. Ace is no better as he just signed the contract without even reading it.

After flying over some random signs, he gets attacked by a bunch of birds (which I guess also exist in this plane-controlled universe. Seriously, nothing makes sense here). He meets a dodo named... Dodo (played by Rob Schneider. Goody) who is pretty much tasked with keeping blackbirds away. He isn't actually paid to do so, he's just a really racist bird. Dodo Rambles while the lip syncing is even worst for this character than Mumbles Duhamel.

So they strike up a friendship, despite Dodo telling Ace that he pretty much sucks at life. They sneak into an air base and get stopped by a pair of trucks who introduce him to the coach. One of the trucks has this annoying gimmick of blinking and making clacking noises. The coach if a plane named Windy (voiced by Hilary Duff, who like the rest of the cast sounds about as enthused as a wildcat on sedatives).

She trains a bunch of retired planes and vehicles for a bit as nothing happens, then she finally meets Ace. It turns out this was probably the wrong base, but considering he's a stupid plane that took advice from racist bird Rob Schneider, this is his own damn fault. We meet a bunch of comic relief characters whose names I forgot immediately.

We then meet Cyclone, who pretty much checks off every part of the "stock villain" list.

Self centered douche? Check.
Boyfriend of the love interest to the hero? Check.
Rival of the hero? Check.
In a crappy movie? Super check.

Ace is trying to find some vague coach, while Cyclone mumbles some more and challenges him to a race. The race is about as exciting as you'd expect from this type of movie. Doesn't help that things once again move way too fast for you to comprehend anything that's actually going on.

Ace hits his wing on a ravine, which I guess is like a concussion to planes since he's woozy, and he crashes, all while Cyclone gloats like a deaf man... plane... thing. We get about two minutes of Schneider rambling as Ace finds a tunnel where he manages to find said vague coach, who tells him to leave. Ace won't leave...

So the mystery plane threatens to bust a cap in his ass... err, fuselage... errr. I don't friggin' know. He returns to kind of gloat about losing.

Then farts at Cyclone because reasons.

Nothing really happens for the next little while, mostly just some really, really bad relationship building with Ace and Windy. Lots and lots of mumbling from Duhamel and Rob Schneider just talking... and talking... and talking...
Seriously, this is one of the dullest movies I've ever seen. And there's almost 50 minutes to go.

So despite being threatened earlier, Ace is stupid enough to come back to the cave. He brings Dodo, because lord knows we can't go a minute without Schneider rambling. Ace learns that the hobo in the cave is the lost coach. Who is angry for the trespassing, but you'd never tell thanks to the permanent smile. He threatens to shoot Ace, as Ace tries to say it's destiny that they met. Clearly Ace is stupid to not get the hint that "gun + face = dead".

More nothing happens as Ace trains while Cyclone continues to be the most stock jerk character ever. Despite not taking the warning twice, Ace goes back to the coach to ask for training. Only this time he does it by showing off how great he is. Ace tries to convince Coach to train him, to the point of psycho stalker at this. The coach says no, while Ace calls him a coward and flies off like the sulk he is.

I guess the constant bitching works as the coach (or the Colonel from this point) finally decides to help him. Meanwhile, Cyclone tries to stir the pot by telling Windy that the Colonel is the one behind the death of the plane from earlier in the film, you know, despite it being obvious that it was Cyclone's fault early on. She tells Cyclone to save him, and he suggests that she distracts him to keep him late from training.

So, despite seemingly knowing that Cyclone is full of crap... err oil... err, DAMMIT!, Windy goes along with it and dates Ace. And being stupid, he falls for it, and causes himself to be late for practice. He eventually arrives (while Schneider makes a stupid "De Plane, De Plane" joke, which aggravates the Colonel. He gives him a lot to do despite his lateness, while we get another training/dating montage. This is at least the third in this movie so far, because this movie is about 45 minutes too long. One of the tricks is apparently Ace farting on a barrel...

Because of course it is.

Eventually the Colonel is sick of Ace's procrastination and leaves. Windy tries to tell him the truth as Cyclone just rolls up to just reveal the whole fake date situation. So Ace just decides to up and leave, telling the other planes off while in a huff. Even Dodo tries to help, and he just tells what the rest of the audience is thinking about him, that he's an annoying bird that never shuts up.

Ace talks with the Colonel some more, as he tries to be deep, but at this point, this just feels like more padding in a movie that feels padded enough as it is. The colonel pretty much says that Ace should just go home. However Ace just manages to find all the training plans and just say "screw the Colonel, I'll train myself!" So, it's time for another training montage. Because we needed another one.

So Ace just ends up at the Hawks stadium, as Cyclone gets the tamest verbal berating. Meanwhile, we remember the whole situation with Ace not being a member of the Angels, but screw conflict, he's pretty much good enough for the team. Ace sees a fire at the Colonel's cave, which means if he leaves, he loses the competition. He says screw it, and goes to save him, while Cyclone competes instead.

But sadly, Coach is dead.

I ain't kidding either, the Coach is fried. Gotta admit that's rather dark. Ace admits he was never intended to be in the team. And then Cyclone teleports to gloat about murdering the Colonel. So Ace and Cyclone fight, as Ace finally realizes that "oh no, Cyclone's evil. Whodathunk?" Both planes race for a bit in another really badly animated battle. Ace survives, and then they just arrest Cyclone off screen because they realize he's the one who killed the other plane last year.


Oh, and the colonel's still alive. That's what I get for having faith in you movie. We end with Ace joining the Hawks officially, he and Windy become an actual item, and he and Dodo chase off some black birds in some more bad animation to finally end this damn movie.

And that's "Wings". For a knockoff, this was one of the worst I've seen. It lacked a lot of the racism of Video Brinquedo, or the bad dialogue of Dingo Pictures, this one just suffered from being way too long with little to it. It's a cookie cutter plot, with bad animation, voice acting that just feels lazy, and the padding is hell. Nothing of interest actually happens throughout. I've seen some of Planes, and while that's no great film, it at least feels a bit more inspired than this mess of a movie. This movie crashes, burns, and deserves a spot in Tooncrap.

Also there's a sequel because of course there frigging is.