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The Darkest Minds
暗黑之心

Format(s) Available
DIGITAL
D-BOX
Opening Date
02 Aug 2018
Rating
PG Some Violence
些许暴力画面
Runtime
104 mins
Language
English with Chinese subtitles
Genre
Sci-Fi, Thriller
Director
Jennifer Yuh Nelson
Cast
Amandla Stenberg, Mandy Moore, Bradley Whitford, Patrick Gibson, Harris Dickinson, Skylan Brooks, Miya Cech, Gwendoline Christie
Synopsis
When teens mysteriously develop powerful new abilities, they are declared a threat by the government and detained. Sixteen-year-old Ruby, one of the most powerful young people anyone has encountered, escapes her camp and joins a group of runaway teens seeking safe haven. Soon this newfound family realises that, in a world in which the adults in power have betrayed them, running is not enough and they must wage a resistance, using their collective power to take back control of their future.
Reviews
By Flora  02 Aug 2018
The Darkest Minds encompasses all the qualities of a dystopian teen movie: children revolution, post-apocalyptic setting, a rising hero/heroine and escaping the aristocracy in a trapped district.
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Based on Alexandra Bracken’s 2012 Young Adult (YA) novel, The Darkest Minds, the film stars Amandla Stenberg as Ruby Daly, the heroine who possesses the incredible powers of mind control; Harris Dickinson as Liam Stewart, the leader of the group who has telekinetic powers; Skylan Brooks as Chubs, the brainy member; and Miya Cheh as little Zu, who developed electrokinetic powers. 

America suffers an unknown pandemic that killed off most of the children in the country. Those who remain are to be held captive in a rehabilitation centre because they possess mutant powers that they are deemed too powerful to be controlled. Categorised into different colour groups, the orange (ability to control minds and emotion) and red (pyrokinetic power) are considered the dangerous groups and needed to be executed; while the yellow (electrokinetic), blue (telekinetic) and green (enhanced intellect) members are forced to work in the camp to exploit their powers. 

To protect her life, Ruby keeps her identity under wraps, in the disguise as a green member. When her identity had been disclosed, a kind doctor Cate (Mandy Moore) rescued her from the concentration camp to join the League. Fearing they are after her powers, Ruby hops onto a van, owned by a group of children who were escapees from the camp as well. They embark on a journey to find the elusive safe haven for children, but they soon realise there is more than meets the eye. 

The Darkest Minds encompasses all the qualities of a dystopian teen movie: children revolution, post-apocalyptic setting, a rising hero/heroine and escaping the aristocracy in a trapped district. Perhaps it’s the YA novels-turned-movies fatigue and its imminent comparisons that represses the otherwise great film. Directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson, the sci-fi teen movie doesn’t usher in new post-modern YA adventures that we’ve not seen in the recent years from The Hunger Games (2012), The Maze Runner (2014), Ender’s Game (2013), Divergent (2014), etc.

Apart from its diverse casting, Stenberg is a great fit as the heroine in a teen YA flicks this The Darkest Minds. Having been in a majorly-successful series, ‘The Hunger Games’ before, she holds her own as the empowered but conflicted leader who learns to embrace her gift as one of the most powerful children of all. Her relationship with little Zu feels like deja vu when she played Rue, ally and friend to Katniss in The Hunger Games. Her relationship with Liam however, feels rather cringe-worthy than a sweet teenage romance, mainly due to Stenberg’s childlike features as compared to a more matured-looking Dickson. 

The first hour of the film sets up the story pretty well, giving its audience an adequate backstory of Ruby and her crew, but it all starts to get contrive as the story progresses, especially the intimate interactions with Gibson (Clancy Gray) is, in my opinion, a plot hole that doesn’t address its aftermath as it should have. It would be nice to see the character expansions of the supporting characters like Cate (Moore), bounty hunter Lady Jane (Gwendoline Christie) and even Chubs (Brooks).

The Darkest Minds sets the stage for future instalments, of which this reviewer is hopeful to see the development of the story in future sequels. Despite the choppy and recycled narrative, young viewers will see the appeal of the film for its adolescent angst and fantasy theme, on top of a valuable message on staying true to oneself. 
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