Directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez, Crater is a coming-of-age, teen sci-fi adventure film, which is now streaming on Disney+. The movie stars Isaiah Russell-Bailey, Mckenna Grace, Billy Barratt, Orson Hong, and Thomas Boyce, and tells the story of a boy who has to face saying goodbye to his friends forever.
In the film, the year is 2257 and a lunar mining colony goes into lockdown due to an immenent meteor shower. The meteor shower is not ideal for the majority of the colony, but it is helpful to young Caleb Channing, as it buys him some time.
Three days from now, when the lockdown lifts, Caleb is to be placed into suspended animation for the next 75 years, as he travels by shuttle to the planet, Omega. He has no choice in what is about to unfold, his departure will come once the lockdown lifts, but this means he still has a bit of time remaining with his friends.
Before he leaves his home, Caleb asks his friends, Dylan, Borney, and Marcus to agree to one last adventure together. The group are to embark on a journey across the moon’s surface to see a specific crater, and spend time in each other’s company in the process.
With the help of new recruit, Addison Weaver, the group set off into the unknown. Along the way, they encounter mild peril, forge an even tighter bond, and make some important memories too.
Every once in a while, a movie will come along that is just right for streaming. One such movie is Crater, which feels like the perfect fit for Disney+.
The movie is a small-scale tale, about a friendship that exists amongst the stars. It is a picture about young people on the cusp of a big change in their lives, with all the storytelling trappings that go with it.
In terms of its narrative, it is fairly straight-forward stuff, but what works in its favour is the fact this movie arrives on a streaming platform with plenty of content and branding aimed at younger streamers. Crater is very much a picture skewed toward a young demographic, which fits the Disney mould perfectly, and this means it is being positioned at the right audience.
Is it amazing? No. Is it spectacular? Also no. But Crater is absolutely fine for its intended viewers.
The story here is attempting to connect with the teen market, and I believe it stands a very good chance of doing this. The young cast are all good in their roles, the film makes the most of its mid-level budget, and for those who are less familiar with coming-of-age tales, they will find this perfectly enjoyable.
Crater isn’t anywhere near the same level as Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret – another coming-of-age story which is new to UK cinemas this week – but it isn’t aiming for the same age demographic, and it also isn’t getting a cinema release. So, based on its distribution platform, its storytelling choices, and the level of expectation for the film, it is fine for what it is.
With regards to its overall look and design aesthetic, Crater ticks all the sci-fi boxes and creates a believable world. The film also benefits from an ongoing collection of flashbacks, which focus on Caleb’s relationship with his late father, and there is a decent amount of emotional weight to the story.
While this film is covering very familiar ground, it does so with a strong voice. Crater has been put together by a director who is interested in telling this story, and this comes across in the tone and the emotional resonance of the picture.
Watching Crater I could tell immediately this wasn’t a film aimed at me – and that’s fine. Not every film is aimed at the same person or the same age group, so I adjusted my mindset accordingly.
I took the film for what it is, found it to be perfectly fine for the right audience, and came away having no major issues with it. I don’t believe I will ever watch it again, but I could say this of many, many movies, so this isn’t a dig.
If you’ve got younger people amongst your household, and they fancy giving this a watch, then let them. Crater isn’t going to cause anyone any long-lasting damage, and they might enjoy what’s on offer.
Thank you for taking the time to read this review on It’s A Stampede!. For more reviews, check out the recommended reads below.
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