Friday 5 July 2024

REVIEW: Space Cadet (2024 Film) - Starring Emma Roberts

Space Cadet

Review by Jon Donnis

"Space Cadet" (2024), directed by Liz W. Garcia, is a light-hearted comedy that seeks to inspire and entertain young audiences, particularly girls between the ages of 9 and 14. The film follows the journey of Tiffany "Rex" Simpson, played by Emma Roberts, who has always harboured dreams of going to space. Despite life's many hurdles, Rex remains determined to turn things around. After her supportive best friend Nadine, portrayed by Poppy Liu, massively embellishes her application to NASA, her "doctored" application lands her in NASA's ultra-competitive astronaut training program. Over her head in this high-stakes environment, Rex relies on her quick wits, moxie, and sheer determination to ascend to the top of her class. NASA program directors Pam (Gabrielle Union) and Logan (Tom Hopper) take notice of her unconventional approach, but the real question remains: can this Florida girl navigate the rigorous training and reach the cosmos without blowing her cover?

Emma Roberts gleefully embraces the silliness of her role, bringing a contagious energy that is both endearing and earnest. Her portrayal of Rex makes it easy for the audience to root for her character, adding a layer of charm to the film. The dynamic between Roberts and Poppy Liu is another highlight, with Liu's performance as Nadine adding warmth and humour to the narrative. The film's core message is one of celebrating women in motion, second chances, and the importance of following your dreams. "Space Cadet" successfully underscores the power of being yourself and aiming high, which is particularly empowering for young viewers.

Visually, the film is colourful and playful, appealing to its target demographic with its bright aesthetics and whimsical scenes. However, despite its charm, "Space Cadet" is not without its flaws. The screenplay often feels uninspired, with jokes that are tired and rarely elicit more than a chuckle. This leaves the cast, despite their best efforts, to rely heavily on their charisma to carry the comedy. While Roberts and her co-stars bring energy and likability to their roles, the script results in a somewhat flat comedic experience.

The narrative of "Space Cadet" is predictable, and the stakes never feel particularly high. This simplicity works well for its intended young audience but may leave older viewers and adults craving more substance and complexity. The film's straightforward plot and lack of deeper emotional engagement might not hold the attention of those looking for a more sophisticated or nuanced story.

"Space Cadet" is a film clearly designed for young girls, who will likely find its girly charm and inspirational message appealing. As someone outside the target audience, I found the comedy passable but not laugh-out-loud funny. The story is pleasant enough, but the screenplay hampers the film's potential, making it an enjoyable watch rather than a must-see. If you have a young child, especially one with dreams of the stars, "Space Cadet" could be an uplifting and entertaining outing. However, for older audiences, the film might fall short of expectations. Overall, I score "Space Cadet" a fair 6 out of 10.

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