Saturday, December 13, 2014

Explorers (1985)

Note:  This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.

There are a lot of movies that I remember from growing up.  The problem is that I don’t remember any of them well enough to write a review of them.  This is where Netflix comes in handy.  I’ve recently been going through movies that I remember from years past.  I had actually all but forgotten about Explorers.  One day, while goofing around on Wikipedia, I came across the movie and decided to look it up.  Lo and behold, there it was, available for streaming.

I remembered very little about it, except that it was about three teenagers that manage to build a spaceship based on some dreams that one of them was having.  They manage to leave Earth and are taken aboard an alien spaceship, where they make some new friends.  There were a few throwaway lines and jokes, but that was about it.

Ben Crandall is the kid with the dreams.  Ben sees himself floating over what he believes is a circuit board.  He remembers enough of it to show to his nerdy and unfortunately named friend, Wolfgang Muller.  Wolfgang recognizes enough of it to build something.  Along for the ride is Darren Woods, a kid that helped Ben with some bullies.

Amazingly, the prototype is able to work.  It even downloads some instructions.  Wolfgang manages to figure out what’s going on; it’s creating a stable force field.  He can even manipulate it.  They make it big enough for a small home-made vessel to fit in.  When it develops a mind of its own, they shut it down, but make another attempt not long after.

The vessel is brought on to an alien ship.  After being split up, they meet some aliens.  The aliens really like Earth (read: American) culture.  All they want to do is meet some humans.  The five of them hang out for a while before the humans are basically told that it’s time to go.

I have to admit that nostalgia played a huge part in rewatching this film.  I probably would have passed on watching it had I not seen it as a child.  I remembered liking it when I first saw it, but not so much now.  From what I’ve read, it was rushed to theaters, but it does have a complete look to me, even if just barerly.  I’m wondering if there were other scenes that were meant to be filmed but left out.

It’s kind of weird to think of a few teenagers making a functional spaceship off of a lucid dream.  (Granted, they did have help.)  It’s the kind of thing that, if done well, could have spawned a sequel or a TV series.   It seemed to me that the aliens got a small amount of screen time.

It’s definitely a movie that children could enjoy.  There’s not much violence, other than Ben being beaten up.  You don’t have any adult themes.  It’s just three kids going on an adventure.  Do they give up after a few setbacks or do they go into the great unknown?  There is a great deal of trust in restarting the project.

All things considered, I don’t regret rewatching the movie.  It was still kind of fun to see.  I’d recommend checking it out if you have kids.  The aliens are kind of goofy, but I don’t think would be scary for children in grade school. 

No comments :