THE DARKEST MINDS – A Review by Cynthia Flores

THE DARKEST MINDS – A Review by Cynthia Flores
This is the first of what will be at least three movies based on the eight and counting young adult book series written by Alexandra Bracken.  I’m sure the powers that be want this to be the next “Big Thing”, but I am not sure it has enough gas in the tank to carry that off.
We meet our core group of kids that have survived the sickness that killed 98% of all children.  The ones that survived changed and gained powers that the adult world fear.  So, the government has imprisoned them to try and rehabilitate them for the past six years.  Each child is tested and given a color code to tell what their gifts are.  Green is the color for super intelligence.  Blue is the color classification for those who developed  the power to move objects with thoughts. Yellow is the color for those who developed the power to create and control electricity.  Orange is the color that is killed on the spot because they can control minds, memories, and emotions.  And red is the color classifications for those who developed the power to create and control fire.  The reds are barely human.
Since the government had been killing orange kids on the spot for the last six years, only two have survived.  One is the son of the president that put all the kids in camps to begin with.  And the other is Ruby (Amandla Stenberg), who has just escaped and joined a group of teens that are trying to figure out who to trust in their fight to form a resistance group and reclaim control of their lives.  
There is a love interest, and betrayals, and of course action.  I would have liked to see the group of four kids, Ruby, Liam (Harris Dickinson), Chubs (Skylan Brooks), and Zu (Miya Cech) spend more time on the road getting to know and care for each other rather than just instantly bonding.  However, it was nice to see such a racially mixed group of kids in the leads.
There is a great deal of violence with people shooting themselves in the head, but since it’s a PG-13 film there is little blood.  It all looked a bit too sanitized for my tastes.
The Darkest Minds wants to be a series, and if they pick up the pace they may be able to pull it off.  The leads are likable and there is a lot more story to be told.  They just need to put their foot to the floor and rev up the engine on this franchise.  I give this first outing a C+ rating.
Directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson
Written By Chad Hodge, Alexandra Bracken
Rated PG-13
Selig Rating C+
Running Time 1hr 45min
Wide Release August 3rd
Starring: Bradley Whitford, Mandy Moore, Amandla Stenberg, Harris Dickinson, Miya Cech, Skylan Brooks, Gwendoline Christie
The Selig Rating Scale:
A – Excellent movie, well worth the price.
B – Good movie
C – OK movie
D – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
F – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.
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