REVIEW: The Darkest Minds Is An Uninspired, Empty Mess
Times are tough for the kids right now. A disease going around gives them mutant-like abilities, 98% of the kids die from the disease, and those who survive are sent to camps to try and “fix” them. Ruby is special amongst the other kids and she’s one of the last surviving with her ability in the summer's newest YA adaptation, The Darkest Minds.
It’s easy to start most reviews out with positives, but, n this case, I’m not remembering any positives to point out. Moderately interesting story, but everything was executed so poorly, it’s hard to say even that. It’s all so uninspired that you can never really feel yourself getting invested in the world or the lore.
The acting is quite unbelievable as well, and no, not in a good way. It’s unbelievable how bad it is at times. The actors really just show that they were there for the paycheck, which I hope was a good one if you’re doing something this bad. I can’t even say any of them are close to good, but I can say that Bradley Whitford phones in everything he’s got for the 40 seconds he’s there.
Throughout a good majority of this movie, the nine other brave souls who were in my showing were laughing, not because anything was intentionally funny, but because of how laughably bad the dialogue was. Seriously, there was a scene close to the start that had me dying of laughter. Best laugh I’ve had in 2018 so far, so thank you for that at least.
That’s not to say the movie didn’t try it’s hand at comedy, of course, most films do and that’s no problem. In fact, most succeed at least once or twice at a comedic scene, but The Darkest Minds. Nope, instead you have the cringiest attempts at humor that would make the dubstep jokes in Deadpool 2 seem like the most hilarious thing you’ve heard.
The characters here are all characters that you very obviously should care and feel for, but you just never really do thanks to that god tier writing. The lead character, Ruby, just seems like a watered down Katniss Everdeen type, and funnily enough, Amandla Stenburg actually had a part in Hunger Games. It’s nice to see her continuing a YA movie trend. They also have a character who’s supposed to be “comedic” relief, but if I’m being perfectly honest, I don’t remember any of the character names at the moment.
The romance in this is so painfully forced and predictable, you could swear it was a Hallmark movie. “I feel like I should ask you to the prom” is one of the many terrible romantic lines in this. None of the romance feels earned and it’s pretty infuriating.
In fact, nothing feels earned in this movie. None of the “sad” moments or the “emotional” moments. None of it. It’s all so clearly forced and shoved down your windpipe and you’re just left wanting the film to end.
In the end, The Darkest Minds is just another uninspired, lazily written, horrible CGI fest of a YA movie that feels like a boiled down version of X-Men and Hunger Games. I saw this movie for free, and I still felt very cheated. Skip this one at all costs, unless you’re wanting to see if 105 minutes can feel like 180.