Watching Home, a viewer may well find his or herself contemplating his own existence. What meaning can one’s life really have if one is watching this movie?
The movie follows Oh (Jim Parsons), a clumsy member of a peaceful but invasive alien species. The boov are on the run from the Gorgs, a world-destroying race that has been after them for centuries. The boov come to Earth, relocate everyone to Australia and move in, thinking they are finally safe, but Oh sends an interstellar email to apparently everyone in the universe inviting them to his housewarming party. Oh becomes a fugitive as the rest of his culture tries to hunt him down for his password so they can retract the message — this movie really has no concept of how email works — and in his flight, he bands together with Tip (Rihanna), a human who was missed in the evacuation and separated from her mother.
They say that when you die your life flashes before your eyes, and it’s natural to wonder what we’ll see. We accumulate good experiences, surely hoping they will dominate, and many that cannot will learn to appreciate bad experiences because they’re better than simply lounging about while our bodies slowly decay — bleeding just to know you’re alive, the song goes.
Home isn’t enough of an experience to be bad. That decaying sensation is much more prevalent. As the dull, predictable road movie drags on, viewers are sure to at least consider what they could have been doing with this time, if not fully realizing the emptiness of their lives.
As the adorable ball of fluff and the tomboy 10-year-old with the celebrity voices meet for the first time, the glaze over the viewers’ eyes will have taken full hold. They will soon begin to feel a mental callus between themselves and the movie, as if they can only feel it tickling the dead tissue on the outside of their minds, never touching anything that’s even alive, let alone any kind of nerve.
The only thing persistent enough to pierce through the stupor the film induces is its hyperactive product placement. Early in the film, Oh turns Tip’s car into a hovercraft, using mostly a Slurpee machine, and gives it snack-based projectile weaponry. The whole movie is set to Rihanna’s Birthday Cake, and she’s all that plays on Tip’s radio. In a way, this reflects real world radio — everything is the same mind-mashing white noise, to the point that advertisements are often more distinctive than the music.
Going through this non-experience, viewers may discover what really matters in their lives. They may learn to appreciate bleeding as a mark that they are still alive.
They’ll probably just fall asleep.
Leopold Knopp is a formerly professional film critic, licensed massage therapist and journalism student at the University of North Texas. This phone makes way too many noises. I’ve had a change of heart about reader input. It is now welcomed and encouraged. Like Reel Entropy on Facebook, follow it on Twitter when I can be bothered to make one, and shoot questions to reelentropy@.