RIM OF THE WORLD / CERT: TBC /DIRECTOR: McG / SCREENPLAY: ZACK STENTZ / STARRING: JACK GORE, MIYA CECH, BENJAMIN FLORES JR, ALESSIO SCALZOTTO / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW (NETFLIX)
Rim of the World is dreadful. It’s really all you need to know and all we can really do is to advise you – no, tell you – to keep away from this nasty Netflix nightmare if you value your sanity, your sense of well-being and especially your moral compass. The fact that Netflix, who, we’re told, subject all their commissions to vigorous quality-control, greenlit this monstrously misbegotten and genuinely offensive effort (and, even worse, thought that it was appropriate fodder for an audience of children) must cast storm-clouds of doubt over the streaming giant’s understanding not only of its subscribers intelligence but also of its ability to tell the difference between good and bad and right and wrong. Seriously, Rim of the World is bad and wrong in almost every way imaginable.
The first ten minutes are appalling and set the film’s despicable tone. A bunch of pretty unlikeable and unforgivably stereotypical “kids” are dispatched to a summer cap called ‘Rim of the World’ (Why? What sort of a name is that for a place?) where the kids and the staff alike trade leary innuendo-heavy (and occasionally just downright vile) dialogue before – for no apparent reason – the Earth is invaded and the camp is under attack by whizzy laser-blazing space fighters. An astronaut crashlands and entrusts the kids with the one mcguffin that can save the human race and the kids set off on a perilous road trip to reach Pasadena before the aliens do…whatever it is they’re doing. We only actually ever see one physical alien creature throughout the entire movie so working out quite why the aliens have come to Earth – beyond a simple desire to exterminate humanity – is quite unclear.
Rim of the World is clearly keen to emulate feel-good 1980s kids’ films like Flight of the Navigator, The Goonies and even ET. But in trying to update a beloved (and dated) style of film-making McG and shameful screenwriter Zack Stentz have imported the very worst of modern culture and populated their film with potty-mouth kids and ghastly, unbelievable racial stereotypes and thrown them into an uninvolving underpowered story filled with sub-par visual effects which makes little or no sense and generates little excitement or sense of peril because even the young audience the film is misguidedly aimed at won’t be able to connect with this tawdry troop of tinies. Rim of the World is just grubby and misjudged in so many ways. 12 year-olds joking about group sex and oral sex? A bunch of 12 year-olds eagerly stripping down to their underwear and arguing over who is going to “sleep with” (in a non-Biblical sense, mercifully) with a shy Chinese girl of the same age? A scene where two kids hiding underneath a toilet are urinated on by an older boy? It’s all here and more and you don’t have to be a prude to come to the conclusion that Rim of the World is wrong in so many ways; no right-thinking parent should leave their kids, however streetwise they might appear, in front of this garbage.
Rim of the World really has nothing going for it. You’d be better off staring at the rim of the toilet for ninety minutes; after all, that’s clearly where the script was found.