Overview: Four pre-teens from very different backgrounds are stranded at the adventurous summer camp, Rim of the World when something catastrophic happens onboard the International Space Station. It’s Independence Day meets The Goonies in this thrilling teen action adventure. Its up to them to save the world from an alien invasion, if they can learn to work together, one crazy mishap at a time!
Cons: This movie is rated TV-14 but it is NOT appropriate for young viewers. There are A LOT of sexual references, jokes and dialogue. I am not a prude by any stretch of the imagination but when a 13 year old boy acts out “motor boating” a grown woman and talks about how much “ass he gets” or has a conversation about a woman’s “box”… I have to speak on it.
There are some graphic scenes involving aliens killing people and eating them, which is fine for (older) teens/adults but maybe not so much for younger children.
Pros: This movie is clever and funny. I laughed hard at quite a few scenes and was shocked by the brutality of others. The music (Bear McCreary) was hip and current, sometimes adventurous and when called for, tense and foreboding.
Jack Gore is a rising star, playing Alex, the traumatized, painfully shy nerd who’s mom makes him go to camp. He’s extremely intelligent but sheltered so he needs to make friends that will bring him out of his self -imposed isolation. Gore does a stellar job in bringing Alex to life and making the character believable.
Miya Cech plays ZhenZhen and she crushes this part. She’s funny and strong, mysterious and smarter than the average bear. She is the bad ass glue that holds these pre-teen boys together. She shows a lot of promise as an actress; I hope to see her in more films.
Benjamin Flores Jr. is Dariush, the rich, entitled, snobby kid who starts things off as a complete ass and a bully.
His only saving grace is at the end when he has his “come to Jesus” moment. Flores Jr. pulls this off flawlessly and despite the fact that I wanted to turn him over my knee, he is going to be an actor of Smith/Rock/Tucker caliber if he continues performing with such amazing skill. Alessio Scalzotto plays Gabriel, the stranger that the kids meet in the woods. He has a checkered past and a strong sense of right and wrong. He is the conscience of the group and the protector of Alex, whom Dariush seems compelled to bully and torment.
McG does a wonderful job directing these kids, who did an amazing job bringing these characters to life, and putting together some fantastic action sequences (not realistic but really fun) that makes the plot of the movie more enjoyable. It also has some heartwarming scenes when each teen reveals their origin story and is accepted by the group despite their flaws. These kids are broken but find a family in each other as the world falls apart around them.
Conclusion: This movie was really good. The aliens were scary and vicious, the kids all gave great performances, the story line was cheesy but interesting and there were some laughs to break up the drama. I will say that for anyone younger than 15 (and that’s pushing it) the sexual content is too much, the brutality and sound effects might cause some nightmares and the fact that these kids are just running around while all of the adults are dying is a more than a little far fetched but hey, The Goonies did it… right? I highly recommend this to anyone who wants 99 minutes of action and fun with no thought required.