During an alien invasion, a group of summer campers stumbles across the master key to Earth’s defences. It’s up to them to travel 70 miles to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and deliver the key to the scientists there. So, after borrowing some bikes from the Stranger Things crew, they mount up and roll out.
The wise-cracking kids try to keep the mood light but these aliens are no joke – they have come prepared with thousands of fighter planes, monstrous foot soldiers, and relentless alien dogs. But the kids hold their own and still find time to reference dozens of other movies, most of which you can find on Netflix.
Rim of the World draws inspiration from (/blatantly rips off) nearly as many films as its script references. There’s very little here that hasn’t been seen before, but it’s stitched together pretty well by director McG, who I assumed had been abducted by aliens about 15 years ago. Maybe he escaped? That would actually explain why so many of Rim of the World’s references are from the 90s. Because story-wise, it doesn’t make any sense for these 13 year olds to reference Independence Day or Gladiator when, if you do the math, even their parents may not have been old enough to see either of those movies in a theatre!
That’s really the problem with this movie. It’s not actually FOR anyone. As an adult, I’m not interested in watching 13 year olds make adult references while saving the world (though I will admit that one Star Wars reference made me giggle), but I’d also be the worst uncle in the world if I let my nephews, even as teens, watch a movie full of terrifying space creatures and VERY grown-up language. But I bet they’d want to watch it.
And maybe that’s the answer – this is Netflix’s answer to the midnight movies I watched at sleepovers as a teen. Only thanks to our modern technology, there’s now no need to stay up late to watch. But you probably should stay up late, because if you do then this movie will be at least 20% more fun (call it the “sleepover effect”) and Rim of the World can use every bit of that help.