Directed by Enrique Gato, the animated feature “Capture the Flag” from Spain is the sort of adventure-comedy that’s supposed to appeal to the whole family but no one actually enjoys.
Aided by his friends, spunky Amy González (Michelle Jenner) and chubby, nerdy Marty Farr (Javier Balas), earnest 12-year-old Mike Goldwing (Carme Calvell) is determined to reestablish relations between his astronaut father, Scott (Toni Mora), and his retired astronaut grandfather, Frank (Camilo García).
Ruthless, power-mad oil tycoon (what other kind is there?) Richard Carson (Dani Rovira) tries to convince people the original Apollo landings were a hoax. He wants to claim the moon and exploit its resources of helium-3 to generate power and create terrible weapons.
NASA brings a Saturn rocket out of mothballs to beat Carson to the moon, but Mike, Amy, Grandpa Frank and Marty’s pet lizard end up in the Apollo module when the launch occurs prematurely. Pausing only for some clichéd dialogue, they destroy Carson’s Death Star-sized mining ship, recapture the stolen flag from Tranquility Base and bury all the family hatchets.
The characters natter endlessly, the self-conscious life lessons are spelled out in capital letters (“Family is the most important thing there is”), the jokes are stale, the animation is uninspired and the villainy too over the top to feel threatening. In an appalling lapse of taste, Carson’s henchman Steve Gigs (Fernando Garcia Cabrera) is a caricature of the late Steve Jobs.
Rarely has outer space seemed so unexciting.
‘Capture the Flag’
MPAA Rating: PG for action, language and some thematic elements.
Running time: 1 hour, 34 Minutes.
Playing: AMC Santa Anita 16, Arcadia; AMC Universal CityWalk 19.