Writer: Darrell Rackley, Thomas J Churchill (Screenplay) Darrell Rackley (Book)
Starring: C Thomas Howell, Nico Ford, Hunter Lee Manning, Wyatt Walter, David Schifter, Randy Jones, Cece Kelly
Plot: A children’s storybook author reminisces about his childhood adventures with his brothers and friends. In a time before kids spent hours watching television, on the computer, playing video games and texting, they went to the park to play with their friends.
Tagline – It was a bond of brotherhood we called …The Rack Pack.
Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Fun Family Film
Story: The Rack Pack starts as we learn about Darrell’s (Ford) time in the army school with a group of friends known as the Rack Pack, which only allows boys to be a part of, with his closest friends including, Gerald (Manning), Loren (Walter) and the one girl trying to be part of the group Tammy (Kelly).
The boys see Ted (Howell) lurking around an abandoned house after he discovers a secret map which could lead him to treasure, the boys go to battle against this team in an attempt locate the treasure first and have an adventure they love to have.
Thoughts on The Rack Pack
Characters – Darrell is the leader of the group, he keeps the group in line while letting them have their own entertainment, he is the one they turn to when they need ideas and the one that is telling the story of what happened when he was a kid. Ted is the criminal in search of the treasure, he doesn’t care who he upsets and will do anything to get what he believes he can take. Tammy is the only girl who can be part of the gang, she doesn’t get the same acceptance as the boys, but will do everything she can to be part of the gang.
Performances – The best way to look at the performances is looking at the audience the film is targeted for, the performances won’t win any awards, the child actors all look like they are having fun and enjoying getting one over the adults, while C Thomas Howell gives his character enough menace to fit the film well.
Story – The story follows a group military kids that are always looking for adventure and this time they end up facing real criminals and must save the treasure from the thieves. This story does feel like the first of what could be many stories of the kids adventures in military school and this could easily be a pilot for a long running series. The fact that this film is targeted towards a younger audience makes the story work too because we get to see how they solve the problems and learn life lessons about team work.
Action/Adventure/Family – The action in the film comes from the imagination of the kids to keep themselves occupied in the battle against the criminals, this is the adventure they have been seeking only this time things become real. The tone of the film puts us in the family friendly zone even though it is targeted more towards the younger audience.
Settings – The film keeps us around the military location, the small community that stays together through the times to make sure they are safe.
Final Thoughts – This is a family friendly film that the younger members of the family will enjoy, it doesn’t always hit the high points it could have with the older audience though.
Overall: Simple family film.