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The Darkest Minds - Movie review by Rouén Robinson
By Rouén Robinson
Aug 21, 2018 - 7:58:23 PM

The Darkest Minds

The Ones Who Changed Will Change Everything

The movie adaptation of a book series that introduces a world that is not as original as it thinks it is.

When a virus kills 98% of the world’s children, the remaining 2% discover they possess super human abilities. After escaping one of the camps that the government has placed the young people in, a teen joins a group of runaways searching for a rumored safe haven. They soon realize that running is not yielding the desired fruit of their labor and decide to wage a resistance by using their combined powers to take back control.

Ruby Daly is a teen with the power to control the minds of people, who escaped a government run concentration camp and is now part of a small group of runaways searching for a rumored sanctuary. Charles ‘Chubs’ Meriwether is a teen with the power of super intelligence in the group of runaways, who is reluctant to have Ruby join them on their journey due to her lying about the power she possesses. Suzume ‘Zu’ is a preteen with the power of electrokinesis in the group of runaways, who takes a liking to Ruby and encourages her to stay with them through her actions as she does not speak. Liam Stewart is a teen with telekinesis in the group of runaways, who forms a bond with Ruby through their shared experience of escaping the government camp & the Children’s League in search of the sanctuary. Clancy Gray is the son of the president of the government who has the power to control minds, but is being used in propaganda for a cure to the psionic condition adults in charge see as danger.

The Darkest Minds is a quaint summer romance movie for teens with a dystopian science fiction setting. This is a motion picture that hits on all the Young Adult Novel adaption tropes with an interesting style that has the right mix of special effects action and earnest heartbreaking performances that feels real when delivered by youths trapped in a world beyond their imagining. Amandla Stenberg gives another solid lead performance and Mandy Moore is able to do a lot with the time she is on screen, but it is Skylan Brooks that truly steals every scene he is in while charming the audience with his character. Jennifer Yuh Nelson does a commendable job directing her first live action feature length film after being the director of animated productions and I look forward to seeing what project she chooses to helm next. The screenplay by Chad Hodge is adequate, but loses some of spark that made Alexandra Brackens writing standout in the hearts & minds of those who read her book series. This movie reminded me of such films as Scanners, Superman 2, Firestarter, Push and The Covenant. Once you know what you are getting into, you can enjoy the ride as this theatrical experience is a nice entry in a genre that seems to be flourishing more on the small screen now than it is on the big one.  I rate this movie a rating of 3 out of 5.

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