Crater is an adventure movie reminiscent of Spielberg’s The Goonies but set in a futuristic lunar colony. Written by John Griffin and directed by Kyle Patrick Alvarez (who was also behind 2015’s The Stanford Prison Experiment), the film follows a group of kids on a road trip to the titular crater.
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- Heartwarming story
- McKenna Grace
- Interesting world-building
- Too formulaic
- Certain scenes go on for too long
- Predictable ending
What is the movie Crater about?
A couple of centuries into the future, the Moon has been colonized, and it’s populated mainly by miners and their families who work in hopes of earning their tickets to Omega, an idyllic far-away planet. After losing his father in an accident at the mines, young Caleb gets to travel to Omega as part of his dad’s death-on-the-job compensation package. It’s a one-way trip that takes 75 years in cryosleep to get there, meaning he’ll be leaving all his friends behind forever.
As the boy only has a few days left before setting off, he and his friends decide to steal a space jeep and go on a road trip across the Moon to see a crater Caleb’s dad insisted he visits after his death. The road trippers are Caleb’s closest friend, Dylan, the overly anxious Borney, and Marcus, a boy born with an enlarged heart. They also recruit Addison (played by Mckenna Grace), who recently moved to the moon with her scientist dad and who happens to know the access codes required to leave the base without getting caught.
For a Disney movie, Crater takes the time to explore some dark topics from the children’s perspective. Most of the young boys are second or third-generation Moon dwellers, as the mining company keeps finding ways to extend the worker’s contracts, making it close to impossible for anyone to earn the right to travel to Omega. Caleb only gets to go because of his father’s passing. All these kids have gone through immense traumas, and their close bond is the one thing helping them get through it.
A touching story
On their way to the mysterious crater, the group plays a hilariously dangerous game with an oxygen tank, and they learn more about the Moon’s history. But their journey has little to do with the destination and more with self-discovery. It’s hard to avoid being charmed by this sweetly emotional sci-fi adventure.
The kids are well-written characters, their friendship is believable, and their road trip is full of fun and exciting moments. It offers the perfect balance of hilarity and drama you’d expect from a family-friendly movie.
As a downside, the story is as formulaic as it can be. It hits every possible trope in an adventure movie, and aside from setting the action in space, it doesn’t add much novelty.
The young actors are brilliant in their portrayals. But Mckenna Grace stands out as the Earth girl trying to make new friends after her dad made her move to a different planet.
By the end, the story wraps up too neatly, yet that’s hardly a reason to complain. Happy and emotional endings are a quintessential part of Disney content. Overall, Crater tells a simple yet effective coming-of-age tale, and it does a great job of pulling at the viewer’s heartstrings.
The Crater – FAQs
Where was Crater filmed?
The feature was filmed at The Celtic Media Centre in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Some of the filmings took place on-location in California’s Mojave Desert and several regions in Iceland, including the Svínafellsjökull glacier.
When was Crater filmed?
The majority of the filming took place between June and August of 2021.