By: Lana K. Wilson-Combs
“The Darkest Minds,”
from director Jennifer Yuh Nelson (“Kung Fu Panda”) and screenwriter Chad Hodge (TV’s “Good Behavior” and “Wayward Pines”), is the latest young adult dystopian, sci-fi drama to hit the big screen.
The movie is adapted from Alexandra Bracken’s 2012 best-selling novel of the same name. “The Darkest Minds” also borrows a page or two from movies like “The Hunger Games” and “Divergent," yet lacks the weightiness of them.
What “The Darkest Minds” does having going for it is lead star, Amandla Stenberg who starred in “The Hunger Games” (2012) and shined in last year’s teen, romantic drama, “Everything, Everything.” She’s also is set to star in director George Tillman Jr’s political thriller, “The Hate U Give.”
In “The Darkest Minds” Stenberg plays Ruby, a survivor of an American pandemic that has wiped out 98 percent of kids her age.
The few that are left discover they have psychic powers, but they pose a threat to the government. These officials go to great lengths to capture this special group and place them in rehabilitation camps where they are separated by colors of blue, green and yellow.
There’s a reason why.
Ruby it seems is a rare breed. Her genetic make up is Orange. Not only is she special, she’s considered extremely dangerous by the government and now is their prime target.
So, Ruby joins with three other like-minded teens and a helpful doctor named Cate Connor (Mandy Moore, TV’s “This is Us”), who has her own reasons for fighting against the government, they escape. Their plan is to find a haven for the rest of the teens who will likely be killed or imprisoned.
First they have to outmaneuver the Tracers, a group of bounty hunters led by the wicked Lady Jane Gwendoline Christie (TV’s “Game of Thrones”).
No dystopian adventure would be complete without a messy, love-triangle.
Ruby is torn between two doofus guys. The first is Liam (Harris Dickinson, TV’s “Trust”), a lanky, lame guy and the other just happens to be the President of the United States son, Clancy Gray (Patrick Gibson, upcoming “Tolkien”).
Liam is taller and has dreamy, blue eyes, so we know just who Ruby is going to fall for.
For the most part, the rest of “The Darkest Minds” plays out predictably and really doesn’t bring much new to the teen, sci-fi genre.
I wouldn’t say I was hooked on “The Darkest Minds,” but rather mildly entertained by it and that had more to do with Amandla Stenberg’s performance than anything else.
She’s definitely one to watch even when the movie often stutters and stumbles.
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Take A Peek At This Trailer For "THE DARKEST MINDS"
Lana K. Wilson-Combs is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association (BFCA), the Black Reel Awards Voting Academy and a Nominating Committee Voting Member for the NAACP Image Awards.