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Mila plays a troubled young lady who is sent to an island work camp by her parents. The isolated layout of this camp in Fiji could make for a beautiful filming location, but it really only gets used once or twice (coral, white sand beaches, etc.). Peter Stormare (I always remember him the most as Satan in Constantine) fills the role as the camp creator and leader of this paramilitary counseling group. The idiot boyfriend who finds a way to get himself committed to the same camp (yeah right) is played by Gregory Smith (he has a much better role in Closing the Ring).
As more unlikely events occur and an intermittent writing mess unfolds in virtually every scene, the movie strives to falter. Mila tried very hard here, and I have to give her props for taking a somewhat different role. There are plenty of important themes attempted here, including the topics of physical abuses and illegal activities that occur at these camps, but the short paragraph statement in the credits is all we are given as an extra. No supplements. The sound was average as was the picture quality. Regarding the unrated quip, everything that could give it an R happens off camera or is edited out (Mila's shower scenes and abuses towards one female character). Almost feels like a made for TV movie, but even then so much is not explained or elaborated on, that it misses the mark on being an informative film. It becomes more of a brief passion piece film about these camps.
In the film we have Sophie - Mila Kunis - who is a rather annoying teen with a step father who has had enough. Her boyfriend - Ben, Gregory Smith (`Hobo with a shotgun') - is gutted and decides to get her back. Then the shenanigans in the sand begin.
Now the whole point of this film is to raise awareness about Boot Camp type places which did look like an extreme 12 step programme where the carrot and stick method are taken to extremis. The problem is that it is simply not a well executed film. The underlying themes of parental abuse of power, or the corruption of the camp organisers is just left there but not explored. Also using the inmates to police each other with varying degrees of success was not a new idea but again not expanded. The real theme should have been that justice administered without responsibility is tyranny - and that too is left virtually untouched.
That said most of the acting is good - Peter Stormare is fair to middling as the guru behind the Serenity project, but he is almost a cardboard cut out baddy with no ambiguity that shows too readily as the misguided man on a mission. The soundtrack is quite good though with the likes of `Band of Horses' and `The Cold War Kids' to name but two. Still if you want a reasonable watch with some mildly horrible things being done to troubled teens - then this could fit the bill.
This movie has an interesting idea, but thats about it. I can't see someone watching it more than once. It has a few good parts, but nothing at all memorable happens. If you are painfully bored I can say that renting this film may help you for an hour or two. Asking more from this film isn't realistic. If you have to see this movie then you should just just rent it. It's not worth more than a dollar and you certainly don't want it taking up space on your shelf.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
great movie some children should watch this to let them know how hard life is sometimesPublished 3 months ago by patricia fullick
I liked this movie. I found it unique. Plus I like both of the main characters, Mila Kunis and Gregory Smith. Read morePublished 12 months ago by MacGyverGirl