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Disney gives us their next Disney+ Original film with a family space-adventure titled ‘Crater’.
Crater follows Caleb (Isaiah Russell Bailey) who was raised in a mining colony and goes on a journey to discover a mysterious Carter along with his 3 best friends and a new arrival from Earth before he’s permanently relocated to another planet. The movie starts engagingly, the first act maintains the momentum. The conflict point is introduced straight away and the bond between the characters is established. So we get an idea about what to expect going forward. I enjoyed this movie for what it was. It’s an adorable Adventure that you can watch with your kids/family. Now I adored the performances of the cast headlined by Mckenna Grace who had to do the heavy lifting. Although not the lead of the movie, she puts up a solid act holding the film together along with Isaiah who is believable as the lead and augments the emotional chord of the proceedings. The rest of the child actors add this irrefutable and warm energy to the proceedings making their friendship believable. The cinematography was captivating. The wide shots of the abandoned planet and the facility give this movie a rich and expansive feel while watching.
On the flip side, I found the writing to be very basic and barebones. The lack of effort to develop the camaraderie between the characters or expand their world hampers the experience to some extent. The best example is the opening portions where the conflict points and the characters are introduced, but you end up caring for them more due to the performances rather than the writing. You are always told about their friendship, how good friends they were. But it’s never really conveyed in a more thematical or nuanced way. The movie tries to establish that camaraderie in the second act, but again it’s the actors who do the heavy lifting rather than the writers fleshing them out. Due to this, the proceedings come to a grinding halt. It’s like the writers were in dilemma whether to make it a visual spectacle or a tale of a friendship. The ambiguity is felt throughout the second act. However, the film regains footing in the final act where the writers finally decide “Family is everything” and explore that bond between them which begs the question “Why not do it from the start?” Overall, Crater is a cute space adventure that can be watched with family and friends over the weekend on Disney+