Rim of the World: Review
"Rim of the world" is a pseudo 80's inspired adventure much along the same vein as "The Goonies" or more recently like things such as "Stranger Things" or It, however, the 80's as a theme is largely absent with the alien invasion movies of the '90s as its pop culture point of reference.
Written by McG of Charlie's Angel fame this may be one of his best projects to date but I would forgive you for not realizing who directed it because it really doesn't feel like an McG film at all in the way it plays on screen with maybe the exception of his 2017 film also on Netflix The Babysitter, however, the fantastic work of cinematographer Shane Hurlbut may very much be to blame for the look of both of these films, and if you look at some of his earlier projects you can defiantly seem more Shane in this visually.
So What is it all about? And is Rim of The World as good as the others in this "Kids on an Adult Adventure" revival?
A Big Adventure Story
Many of these narratives tend to place children inside of dangerous and intimate situations that are either somehow hidden or otherwise a secret, and this seems to be the general trend of what these films and shows do but with "Rim of The World" this idea gets thrown on its head as we follow four children on an adventure to save the world.
Without spoiling too much this film is very much a mash-up of the 80s adventure flick and the blockbuster alien invasion movies that proliferated the 90s, with great success as you get the feels of both genres, especially during the big conclusion.
Like most in this genre the heart of this story is about growing up but none more literal as in this one I feel as we literally see our core cast of misfits grow and change in this dangerous landscape as they find themselves confronting their own failings and weaknesses, but this brings me on the main characters.
I feel that the strongest part of this movie was the choice of actors for the four protagonists, and lets be honest its always a risk when you have a child actor on set anyway but when you have four child actors on set who more or less carry the entire run time of the film, then you have to worry if you have put all of your eggs in one basket.
Our four contain; Alex who is essentially the point of view for the film, Zhenzhen being both the romantic interest for our main but also as the child with the sad enough backstory so that she may have a chance in a fight, Dariush who's the comic relief character who lines didn't always land for me but they always made the character more endearing and finally the character of Gabriel who is here because there is always the fourth one, honestly e is probably the most forgettable out the three but he fits, I never felt like his presence was unwarranted or unnecessary even if he doesn't do much for the story.
They are all fantastic actors and especially Miya Cech who played Zhenzhen, who's able to hold to the weight of most of the emotionally heavy scenes throughout the run times of the film with Alex also helping to bring a serious tone when it was needed.
Okay so I need to get this off my chest but the CG at the start was significantly worse with that overly orange saturation that hangs over most of the first act, the CG looks so much better as the film goes on and the colours become darker and in to hues of green and brown, other than that the CG was not terrible by Hollywood standards at all, I just wish we had a more use of practical effects like that of the 90s alien films referenced so often.
Talking about the monsters however they where exceptionally well designed to be these intimidating hulking beasts again reminiscent to the creatures found in stranger things with a 90s alien sheen added to it for good measure, it's a shame they show it off a little too soon and ruins much of the mystique they could have had.
As well as this the colour grading was really pleasing... after the first act was over. The whole film has this hyper-real colour saturation to it that I enjoyed as the scenes got darker and the action became more suspenseful however until they leave the initial camp are the grading on everything is almost distracting to the eyes.
Well I don't like to put numbers to things but if you enjoy the 80's revival and have some room in there for the '90s then I would suggest this film to you, but if things like mediocre CG and comedy that doesn't always land bother you then you may have a little bit of an issue connecting well to this.
© 2019 Joe C Delderfield