Okay, I just watched this movie, after far too long, so I’m a bit late to the party. I’ve wanted to watch it for a while, but I just never could find the time. Now, having finally found the time and opportunity, I managed to get a look at this.
And, well…I’m not sure about this movie, even now. I understand what it was going for. All the previews that hid the plot, were trying to hide the big thing. This is a movie about kids having an adventure. Comparable to “The Goonies”, after a brief look into the history of such things. Pity I never saw “The Goonies”. See, I was born in 1986. These kinds of movies came out of fashion around 1985, from what I’ve heard. ET, The Goonies,
Close Encounters of the Third Kind…I was too young to remmember them. I don’t have the sense of nostalgia that would create a longing to see such things.
That said, well…I’m going to spoil some stuff, in part because the previews give away so little. It’s a shame, since the plot, well…it’s rather…typical. It’s not worth the secrets, honestly.
The basic plot goes “A group of kids are doing kid-stuff, when a mysterious alien comes. Alien and the kids intersect a few times, never really meeting up, until finally the climax happens, everything goes to hell, and the kids save the day.”
That’s the plot, oversummarized. I say over-summarized because, well…honestly, the plot is better then the summary. It does, unfortunately, feel like two movies. One movie is a horror-ish movie about a mysterious alien stalking people, and the military attempting to take hold of it and stop it…even though, well…the military is kinda a bit evil. Not stereotypical muhahaha villains, like in Avatar, but, they’re at the least not very nice. Understandably not nice, at least outside of backstory, but still not nice.
Unfortunately, this plot is tied to a second plot, which is the kids trying to make a movie, and having teen drama, and the main star having a crush on the main girl. None of the kids, even the main star and the girl, really feel like stereotypes, and even the ‘neglectful father’ and the ‘alcoholic father’ don’t fall into the stereotypes of the position. The neglectful father doesn’t have some mysterious excuse, and then suddenly learn to ‘luuuve’ his kid, nor is the alcholic father abusive to any real extent. Nor is he given a reason that causes him to get a pass. It’s actually a rather good portrayal. Pity that they are secondary to the kids.
Sadly, while the other three kids aren’t really stereotypes, at least to a major extent, nor are they really interesting. The kid’s plot is well paced, keeps itself moving, has some interesting revelations, and is EXTREMELY well acted. I give props to the kids’ acting, they do a great job. Especially the girl, who has to give some nuanced performances. In an early scene, she has to blow the other kids away with a beautifully acted scene in their movie, and she succeeds. Sadly, the other three kids are not really interesting, never up to the level of amusing, but fortunately don’t hog the screen from the important two kids. They provide people for the star two to interact with, except for one annoying scene that pretty much resolves the movie plot.
The only problem is that, well, the kid’s plot is not the more interesting plot, but IS given more prominance until the really big scenes near the end, when the Alien lets loose. To me, even though the kids were doing a good job, slowly finding out what’s going on, I kept wanting it to get back to the alien plot. The kid’s plot isn’t BAD…it’s just that I didn’t want to see a movie about a bunch of kids derping around. I wanted to see this alien, ’cause it was interesting, the attacks were done great, and the movie WORKED when it was doing this.
As for the adults…they barely feature. They’re not the focus, they’re mostly there to move the plot forward, even though they’re all good characters. They just don’t get enough space to really play. It’s a darn shame, since they feel like they would have been awesome if there was more focus. It reminds me of a criticism about Twilight. Everyone BUT Belle, Edward, and Jacob is interesting and cool. Make the movie about THEM. This isn’t that bad, but it’s close.
All in all, I don’t know what to rate this movie. It was well-done in most areas, I just don’t really feel like I was the target audience. If you want to see a more adult, modern take on a kid’s adventure film, then this is definitely the film for you, and a HIT. If you want to see a movie about a mysterioous alien, and people trying to stop it pick another film, it’s a MISS. If you grew up watcing ET, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and the Goonies, it’s a HIT. IF you missed them, it’s a MISS. It’s not a bad movie…I’m just not the target audience.