Planes: Fire & Rescue is one of those sequels that up’s the ante on the original in every category, from action to comedy to drama, and features even more spectacular visuals. To be honest, the first Planes movie felt like every bit of a spin-off from the Cars franchise and was just “OK” as my kids said, but with this venture it has really come into its own.
After the events of the original where Dusty Crophopper wanted to be more than a crop-duster and won the big race around the world, this sequel finds him winning race after race and enjoying his successes as a bona-fide superstar! But while taking a break from the race game and helping to prepare for the annual corn festival, Dusty seriously damages his gearbox which effectively ends his race career. Soon a fire breaks out at the homestead and a lackluster effort to extinguish it by the local aging fire truck threatens to close the airfield unless they can upgrade their fire team by adding a member. Feeling guilty for starting the fire, Dusty accepts the challenge and flies off to become certified by the fire trucks mentor, Blade Ranger.
Blade and his cohorts Windlifter, Cabbie, Lil’ Dipper, and The Smokejumpers comprise a fire and rescue team working in a huge national forest reminiscent of Yellowstone begin the task of training Dusty for his new job. After modifying him with water landing skiffs and removing his extra wing mounted fuel tanks, Dusty gets his first taste of the rescue game and fails miserably…he sure has his work cut out for him especially with a damaged gearbox (a secret he keeps from Blade and the gang). The bulk of the movie takes place in this setting adding in a few other plot points including an over privileged overseer, and a love interest for Dusty, all the while his friends back home furiously search the globe for a new gearbox for him so he can continue his dreams.
Will Dusty rise to the challenge set before him and become certified for fire and rescue? Will he wait anxiously to receive a new gearbox and rejoin the race circuit once more? Will he perish and fail in both quests and be put out to pasture like so many tractor/cows? These answers and more await you in theatres beginning July 18th!