I've been perusing the Internet to see how Planes is being received in general, and I can't help but feel like people have completely missed the point. Yes, the film is formulaic and is basically "Cars with wings", but that's not really a valid criticism, IMO (I'll get to why in a second).
All 3 of my local radio hosts who reviewed the film were quick to point out, the film has a charm of its own even though it IS admittedly very formulaic, yet all 3 of them gave the film 3 stars out of 4.
What I think they saw that many others seem to have not, BTW, is that there are actually very few movies these days that aren't formulaic in many regards, and it is for that reason that I don't really think calling the film 'unoriginal and formulaic' is actually a valid criticism against it.
I realize that opinions are going to vary wildly, but with most of the reviews I've seen complaining about it being unoriginal (uninspired) and formulaic, I have to question why that's such a bad thing for this film in particular when the same criticism could to some degree be leveled against nearly every other movie ever released.
I haven't yet seen the film myself (the plans I had to go see it this afternoon with my girlfriend fell through after she started feeling under-the-weather last night) and I don't generally pay much attention to mainstream critical reviews, but decided to just see what the 'general consensus' was, and really don't think it's all that fair to criticize the movie for being unoriginal and formulaic when, as I noted above, you'd be hard-pressed to find something these days that ISN'T.