IF you’ve seen The Hunger Games, Ender’s Game, Divergent or The Maze Runner, you’ll feel like you’ve already seen The Darkest Minds, a sci-fi where super-powered teens battle fascist grown-ups.
As in Alexandra Bracken’s Darkest Minds novels, the film is set in America in the very near future where a disease has killed off the majority of the children and bestowed the survivors with superpowers.
The government has reacted by herding them into concentration camps where they are assigned a colour representing their particular power.
Greens have become instant maths whizzes, blues have telekinesis, oranges have Jedi mind control and reds can shoot fire out of their mouths.
The last two categories are considered so dangerous that the children are swiftly executed after their superpower detecting scan.
Ruby (Amandla Stenberg) is an orange but exploits a glaring flaw in the test by using her superpower to convince her examiner she is a green.
One day, a mysterious woman (Mandy Moore) breaks Ruby out of the camp.
She tells Ruby she is one of only two surviving oranges and could have a vital role to play in a resistance movement.
But Ruby doesn’t trust grown-ups. After getting a bad feeling from the woman’s partner, she joins a gang of escapees led by a hunky, brooding blue called Liam (Harris Dickinson).
The teenagers hit the open road in search of a rumoured safe haven.
The action scenes move at a fair clip but this flawed film begs troubling questions.
How will the human race survive without children? Would parents really give up their children without a fight? And what is so scary about maths?