What happens when you take a coming-of-age story about kids on their last adventure together and put it in space? That’s what the most basic premise of Crater is. At points, when the kids are having fun, and it’s light, Crater is entertaining and interesting. However, that premise also comes with some heavy subject matter involving questions about labor and a sort of dystopian society.

The film comes from Kyle Patrick Alvarez and has a script from John Griffin. It takes place on a lunar colony where mining is key. Miners agree to contracts where the reward is a ticket off-colony to a planet called Omega. Omega is much like our own world. It’s a beautiful and habitable place. The only issue is that most miners don’t live to see that benefit. Legal loopholes and other corporate BS ensure that most people die working on the colony.

That rule doesn’t count for descendants of deceased miners though. Our protagonist, Caleb (Isaiah Russell-Bailey) is scheduled to leave the colony to Omega after his father (Scott Mescudi/Kid Cudi) dies. That wouldn’t be a problem, but he doesn’t want to leave his friends behind. Together, they meet a girl from Earth, Addison (McKenna Grace), and they steal a lunar rover to go search for a legendary crater that Caleb’s father told him about as a dying wish.

The kids here are all likable and do an exceptional job bringing across that they’re all friends. Addison is an excellent character and helps the audience relate to the material given. McKenna Grace does the best out of all the performances in the film. She acts as the guide for the rest of the group.

The biggest issue with Crater is the pacing and the fact that the film just feels slightly empty. The pacing for a kids movie is a bit slow. Adults won’t have any issues, but this might be a problem for those with shorter attention spans. For most of the film, it’s just the kids, and that’s it. It feels sparse, and not just from a human aspect. The colony they’re on doesn’t feel very lived in or actually populated.

Without spoiling anything, the ending of the film will definitely hit you emotionally. Like the subject matter of the film, it’s emotionally weighty and deals with issues that we all face, time. Caleb is about to face 75 years of stasis on his way to Omega. He and his friends have had lifetimes of experiences together that he’ll now miss. That’s the kind of thing that Crater does so well, it lays out the stakes. While they might be small in the scale of a movie, they’re huge for the characters.

The effects in Crater are very good. For a movie heading straight to streaming, they might surprise you.

Crater goes after the familiar feel of classic coming-of-age movies. While it captures that feeling, it doesn’t quite capture the charm. It’s still worth a watch, if you have kids or not.

Watch Crater on Disney+ today.

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