Eye For Film >> Movies >> Paper Planes (2014) Film Review
Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray
Junior Eurovision is pretty damn serious. Check out Sounds Like Teen Spirit if you don't believe me. Here's something odder: The World Junior Championship for Paper Planes contest. No way!
Dylan (Ed Oxenbould) is a smart 10-year-old Aussie kid living in an up country shack with his dad (Sam Worthington) who lies around all day on the couch watching DVDs of past test matches. Five months earlier his wife/Dylan's mum was killed in a car crash, resulting in mega depression for surviving spouse and opportunity for soft focus flashbacks of a beautiful woman.
Dylan's only friend is Clive, a whistling kite (like an eagle, only smaller) whom he feeds bacon rashers and stuff from the fridge as he bikes to school. Bird and boy! This isn't Kes or anything like it, but the Clive alive sequences are neat (sweet).
A supply teacher turns up at Dylan's primary school and encourages the pupils to make paper planes and have a competition to see who can fly them the furthest. Surprise, surprise! Guess who wins?
This leads to the nationals in Sydney, followed by the world finals in Tokyo. Dylan has a groovy granddad who used to be a pilot in WWII and now resides in a home for wrinklies where he seduces all the ladies - what are they thinking?
Dylan studies aerodynamics and the way Clive glides on the wind and Granddad's tales of wartime dogfights. He makes friends with a smiley, happy, pretty Japanese girl who says it's not always about winning.
"It's like making something beautiful and surprising."
Also in the mix is a cast of stereotypes - the bully who becomes a pal, the spoilt rich kid who cheats, the comic relief who falls into a swimming pool, the dad who learns to move on.
Every cliche that sang out of tune at the concert of dreams is here. You want to take Worthington aside and ask him why. His role is too pathetic to weep over. As for Oxenbould, good luck, mate, you are the best. You and Clive.Reviewed on: 21 Oct 2015