Four teens trapped in a camp suddenly became the last hope of saving the world from an appalling alien invasion. This was the premise of the new movie released by Netflix last May 24, 2019. Giving literal meaning to the aphorism that goes as “children are the hope of the future.”
Most of us enjoyed movies or shows that emphasizes younger generations simply because teens and kids alike honestly brings out what we once were. Those imaginations of aliens or being an astronaut of NASA or having a perilous adventure with your newly found folks are the best memories we all once have. That’s why film industries are marketing children.
So when I realized this film’s protagonists were kids, I indulge myself watching right away. What I noticed with the film was how typically the squad were created. Of course they were originally strangers and were dealing with individual issues as a teen (By the way, I used teen and kid synonymously in this review. Who cares anyway, all look so young to me). We see Alex played by Jack Gore, I should say the main character. Perfectly defined as a wimpy kid. Considered the nerd who spends most of his days in front of computer screens and reading stuff about NASA. He doesn’t have a friend and doesn’t even know how to ride a bike. Pathetic genius indeed! Then here comes Zhenzhen, played by Miya Cech. The rose amongst the thorn and a total badass. Who would have thought this small girl from China can drive a mustang like a pro? She’s mysterious during the first part of the film because she was not speaking at all but, later stunned the team when she recited the lines from the movie Gladiator. Then we have the charming boy Gabriel, played by Alessio Scalzotto. The one who mysteriously appeared to save Alex from Dariush’s bullying when the two were wandering in the forest. Later did we know that he was an escape from juvie. He’s the boy-next-door-type of the squad. And lastly, the over confident Dariush, played by Benjamin Flores Jr. The character that gave flying colours to the film. He has an all-talk-no-action aura and the alter-ego of Alex in character.
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As typical as it was, the four have nothing in common but, they need to stay together, conquer their fears and save the world from invasion.
Movies like this always teach the best lessons. You know, whenever kids are dealing with dilemmas, their parents became the parents we never had. I remember the scene when Alex freed a prisoner named Lou. He said about making the right decision, but having the worst outcome. It’s like doing the right thing regardless of the return as he learned from his father. He freed the prisoner because no one deserves to die in a cell alone with an alien invasion and without a second chance. And he also thought about a kid like him that may lost a dad. So, he did the right decision by giving the prisoner a key to escape even though it backfired them later.
I also like the emphasis of battling your fears and allowing others to help you. It is like love others or die instead. It hits the life fact that you always need others for survival. When the four needs to go to Pasadena they have to ride a bike as their only means of transportation. Since Alex doesn’t know how to ride, he decided that the three should go and he will just stay. He’s so much willing to be left behind. However, Gabriel and Zhenzhen insisted that all of them should go. That’s when the real friendship took place. The two help Alex to ride a bicycle, conquer his fear and survive. A heartfelt lesson indeed.
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Although the film went well, there are some off details that make it less adorable for me. I hate it when kids are being sexualize like kissing and making-out type of scenes. It is inappropriate for the portrayal of the characters since they were kids and apparently were innocent in terms of intimate relationships. This is common in Netflix movies or series that maybe they can improve or atleast be sensitive about. Also, the graphics for this film is not well done. The distorted alien creature chasing the kids is obviously done by a neophyte, I guess, mostly during its first appearance. But the rest is fine, like the spaceships war in the troposphere and the geographical settings.
Few questions in mind while and after watching the movie. What type of creature the aliens are? Are they like rational humans? Because the alien chasing the kids is not a rational one. It is something that cannot ride a spacecraft. Also, why is there only one that shows in the film, where are the others? And, what happened to the other kids on the camp? These maybe left unanswered unless a sequel will be released.
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