The Darkest Mind
Aida Vucic | 16/08/2018
Mind-numbingly dull, The Darkest Mind falls flat as the newest teen post-apocalyptic series.
The premise is simple; the children of the world have been infected by some kind of disease. For those who survive, they now possess superhuman powers categorised by colour. Green means they have intelligence, blue is telekinesis, yellow is electricity, red is fire and orange is mind manipulation. Orange is perceived as being a threat, and when discovered prompts immediate termination. They’ve been forced into concentration-esque camps to protect the remaining members of society. Our protagonist is Ruby (Amandla Stenberg); an orange, who has been concealing herself as a member of the greens. However, her identify is in jeopardy and she’s forced to escape, assisted by Cate (Mandy Moore) a member of the Children’s League. Her safety is unclear with the League, and she finds herself teaming up with three other gifted children in search of a child refugee.
Ruby’s three companions are Zu (Miya Cech) a yellow, Chubbs (Skylan Brooks) a green and Liam (Harris Dickinson) a blue, who is seemingly bewitched with Ruby from the very first second. From there ensues a series of barf worthy moments between the pair, which is slightly concerning given their characters age. The reminder of the film focuses on the group's journey to this child refugee and their encounter with the mysterious “Slip Kid”.
The film is adapted from Alexandra Bracken series, so it’s hard to distinguish whether it’s the book or the movie that has borrowed so many of its elements from The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner and Divergent series. Irrespective, it lacks any real differentiating elements that would have overcome its tired plot.
The film also feels rushed. While the intended audience are intelligent enough to require minimal exposition, there are gaping holes throughout. Whether these are due to scenes that were edited out of the final cut, or were just overlooked entirely, is unclear. What is clear is that the film feels slightly haphazard.
In terms of the performances, there’s nothing overtly wrong with any of the actors who deliver their lines with gusto. But with a script that is this weak, a more experienced pair of hands may have been able to revive the script and infuse their own style into it. Instead, the group's naivety and enthusiasm is actually the film's downfall.
The one highlight is Dickinson, who is every bit the heartthrob his character demands. He is never wavering in the quality of his performance and undeniably the MVP of the film.
Nearly indistinguishable from other film's of it's genre, The Darkest Mind is unlikely to achieve similar metrics; either in box-office numbers or sequels.