I first became aware of this film a few weeks ago, I was at the cinema watching the trailers (controversial opinion; I actually LOVE watching the trailers at cinema) and saw the trailer for this. Now I had no idea this existed. I did, however, know of a film called The New Mutants, a teen drama/horror set in the X-men universe. As I was watching the trailer I thought “this new x-men doesn’t look as good as I thought it would” then I found out it wasn’t new X-men film. But whilst watching it; it REALLY wants to be. I haven’t seen a rip-off this poor since I released My C-men, described by critics as “a little hard to swallow”, “needs more substance”, and “a bit chewy”.
Okay, with that horrifying visual out of your brain I’ll get into more detail about this film. it doesn’t really work. It has many issues, the pacing, the story itself, and the underdeveloped characters. But the real issue; it’s a romance story where the romance at the heart of it doesn’t work. At no point do you buy them as a couple, I’m not sure whether it’s because of bad writing or just lack of chemistry, but it doesn’t really work.
The story itself also seemed to fall a little flat. There’s been A LOT of apocalyptic fiction aimed at young adults lately, so for one to stand out it has to do something different, something to make you think “okay, THAT’S why this is important”. For me, The 5th Wave did it through having an incredibly tight plot and astounding action scenes which really showed the brutality, but in a PG-13 way. This one attempts to do it by taking aspects of Hunger Games, the aforementioned X-Men, Maze Runner, Divergent, etc. As such, it never really seems to stand on its own two feet. There’s nothing about THIS film that marks itself as unique or special. Side note; how ripe is YA apocalyptic fiction for parody fodder? So yeah this film is just okay really. Not great enough to be remembered for years to come, not bad enough to make fun of that much. I mean, there’s nothing inherently BAD about this film, but there’s nothing really that made me sit up and take notice. The performances were good, but the characters are kind of meh so it balances out. Personally, I think the “oh, the person the audience assumes is bad turned out to be bad? quelle surprise” thing needs to stop happening (but then again if it was a red herring I would also boo that as being cliche, so can’t really win really). One thing which is kind of unforgivable though; the trailer.
See the film establishes that she can wipe herself from memories, and when she does so we see the characters memories of her and she kind of Thanos’s away. (turns into dust and floats away). So, what scene is in the trailer:
That’s her, wiping the memory of her from the male lead. This happens JUST before the end and is one of the last moments where if you went for a piss, you’d be confused when you came back. The film leads up to this; and they put it in the trailer? Yeah, that’s not good. But at least they don’t put the very last scene in the trailer, where she accepts her role as the leader of the uprising and makes a call to arms in front of a stadium of other young people, they’d have to be an idiot to put that in.