Starring: Rachel Hurd-Wood, Phoebe Tonkin (The Secret Circle)
U.S. DVD Release Date: February 28, 2012
Based on the book by John Mardsen, see book review
I had high hopes for this movie when I heard it was being released in Australia, but was quickly disappointed when I found I would have to wait and wait and wait for a U.S. release. Well the wait is over and it was really everything I expected. Stuart Beattie (Pirates of the Caribbean, G.I. Joe) did a fantastic job in writing/directing this title and kept it so ridiculously close to the book he needs a standing ovation. It was almost word for word. He even wove the books cover type images into the ending credits. I’ve actually never seen such a strict following of a book before. Now, of course there were a few changes for dramatization purposes and a it was cut-down, but overall, fans of the book will not be disappointed.
The acting was also first rate, which surprised me, since the leading ladies had only done a few episodes here and there, but nothing like this. I had also watched a few episodes of Tonkin’s H20 (something about three teens that turn into mermaids) and she has definitely come a long way.
In the movie it does become more obvious how far-fetched this plot is, a few teens evading a well-trained army, but taken with a grain of salt it was an excellent action drama. You don’t want to miss this book or movie. Rent it at iTunes today.
SPOILER ___ changes noted from book to movie
Changes that I noticed from the original book was there wasn’t a Homer/Ellie flirtation. Ellie actually made it out that she was more confused about Lee because of meaningful relationships in a time of crisis, instead of her feelings for Homer.
Chris was made to be more of a stoner and less of a genius and Ellie sure took a beat down on him when he fell asleep on watch.
On top of everything, the kids have an almost naive, still childish look on things in the book, whereas the movie they stepped up to the “kick-ass” quite quick and they also brandished weapons, unlike the book.
Then the major one, which would have been tough for Beatie to accomplish, was the fact that this wasn’t a diary/historical account my Ellie. It was still in her POV, but there wasn’t that — “the guys will read this later” interplay that was a major point in the book.