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Part Of Rodent's 15 Review Marathon Of The 1980s Classics And Their Sequels

Review #155 (10th of 15): Explorers

Three school friends, all completely different from each other are embroiled in an amazing journey of discovery and, well, exploration, when one of them begins having dreams about strange and wonderful circuit boards and technology.
He passes on the information to one of the trio, who is a science whizz... who then turns these strange and interesting ideas into reality.

What the three didn't count on though, was having their ideas and dreams becoming so real that it would take them on a journey into the stars...

Another Dante classic for the 80s Marathon... this time round it's definitely more aimed at the younger market... yet adults alike will enjoy the adventure too due to most adults these days having grown up with the movie.

What starts out as a realistic turn of events with only the odd hit of mystery-sci-fi fantasy (the dreams sequences) and a relatively non-threatening peril that is laced throughout the running time... eventually turns into a wacky and zany sci-fi adventure that's filled with comedy and discovery.
Which, on the technical side of things, is relatively linear in storytelling and screenplay.

What does make it different is that the linear turn of events is undertoned with extremes rather than just the usual change of pace or tone.
The third act is so incredibly different from the second act, which in turn is completely different than the first act... it gives the movie an awesomely disparate tone during the running time than any other movie of it's kind.

The action, well, there's not a massive amount of it, but it's very kid friendly... but yet has elements of some more exciting cinema blended in too that adults will enjoy, especially when the trio of friends are experimenting with their creations... there's also a lot of humour involved with the more upbeat scenes.

There's also some brilliantly imaginative special effects going on too and some wonderfully creative ideas... especially the energy ball.

The acting involved is also pretty good.
Future star Ethan Hawke is brilliantly normal as the everyman of the trio. He's the one having the dreams. He's also incredibly enthusiastic and full of charisma whenever on screen.
Jason Presson makes a good show as one of the main trio. His tough guy persona seems to fit the charcter and actor perfectly, it's just a shame he's not given more to do within the story. Presson's also one of the only cast members who didn't make his career with this movie.

River Phoenix is also on top form as the science nerd of the group. As usual with Phoenix, he's completely unrecognisable in his role... by far the best of the trio.

Robert Picardo however makes a fantastic show. He plays three roles within the film... two of them relatively short lived, but his main role as the eccentric and loveable, yet mildly annoying character called Wak, is absolutely spellbinding to watch.

Star turns from James Cromwell, Dana Ivey and Dick Miller bring an air of solidity to the rest of the cast.


All in all, aimed more toward a younger audience but adults will, and do, enjoy the pure escapism that the movie delivers in bucketloads.
Pretty straight forward in terms of storytelling but with it using the extreme side of tone the movie really is one of a kind, and has some really good laughs in there too...
... and definitely an 80s classic.

My rating: 88%