Writer: Chad Hodge (Screenplay) Alexandra Bracken (Novel)
Starring: Amandla Stenberg, Mandy Moore, Bradley Whitford, Harris Dickinson, Patrick Gibson, Skylan Brooks, Miya Cech, Gwendoline Christie
Plot: Imprisoned by an adult world that now fears everyone under 18, a group of teens form a resistance group to fight back and reclaim control of their future.
Tagline – Together they will change everything.
Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Potential That Misses
Story: The Darkest Minds starts with a mysterious disease that swept across the country killing most of the young population, the survivors seemed to change too, with Ruby (Stenberg) being one of the children taken to the camps, separated by colours depending on the skills in the minds.
After a test shows that Ruby is an Orange, meaning she is more dangerous than the rest, Cate (Moore) breaks her out of the prison, with her powers being mind control. Learning Cate might not have her best interest in mind, Ruby escape a joins three fellow children Liam (Dickinson), Chubs (Brooks) and Zu (Cech) as they search for safety.
Thoughts on The Darkest Minds
Characters – Ruby was a normal child until the event happens, she spends 6-years in a prison camp, where she hides her true abilities, which does make her more dangerous than the rest of the children. She gets discovered, which sees her escape, joining another group of children on the run, her powers will make her a useful for avoiding trouble, but any touch can make her see the truth about people and make them follow her instruction. Cate is the doctor that helps Ruby escape, she has been looking to help children, though she might not be helping in the way Ruby believes. President Gray is the man that commission the prison camps for the children, his son is the poster child for the cure too in Clancy. Liam is one of the children on the run, he has a reputation as a hero for the number of children saved. Liam leads Chubs and Zu to safety, as they both have their own stories of survival.
Performances – Amandla Stenberg is strong in the leading role, she has had a great couple of years, this might end up being one of her weaker films, but she doesn’t disappoint. Mandy Moore and Bradley Whitford are barely used, which is disappointing, though you feel their parts would have been bigger in a sequel. Harrison Dickinson, Skylan Brooks and Miya Cech do have good chemistry between the four kids on the run.
Story – The story here follows Ruby who is in a world where children are kept in prison camps, because of a sudden new set of abilities they have gained, she gets broken out goes on the run and learns of a bigger battle going on in the world, where she needs to decide which side of the war she wants to be on. This is a story that falls into the young adult world which wants to build up to franchise, that we most likely will never get, this is just the first chapter where we learn as Ruby does about what is happening in the world, who she can trust or not. The world created is interesting though it is never truly explained, what happened or why, most of which would probably be filled in later in the franchise.
Action/Romance/Sci-Fi – The action in the film is filled with an odd looking car chase, a mostly just the powers doing anything to make them control the situation, the romance shows us how the two young adults fall in love for no actual reason. The sci-fi world does show us the world we are in, though we don’t learn the complete truth to everything.
Settings – The film doesn’t have any distinctively locations, which doesn’t help us understand the scale of the situation.
Special Effects – The effects do look like they are part of a low budget television show for the most part.
Final Thoughts – This is a film that has potential to be massive, it gets caught up in trying to show how big the world could be by only creating first chapter to something much bigger.
Overall: First Chapter of franchise.