The Maximum Ride series is a nine book YA series by James Patterson about a group of genetically modified winged kids with individual abilities who have been rescued from the lab they were kept in, codenamed “School”, by one of the scientists. However, their scientist father figure goes missing and soon things go south.
The home the Flock has been living in is attacked by Erasers, genetically engineered werewolf-like creatures, who are the muscle for the secret government agency behind the School. Angel, the youngest, is kidnapped and Maximum (Max) plans an immediate rescue mission.
These badass superhuman kids travel, scavenge for food, fight for their lives all to reunite with the lost member of their family and hopefully find out some secrets that they may wish they hadn’t found out.
I have been a fan of Maximum Ride for some time. She was the first young female hero that I had read about that had not been some sort of spin off from a male character. The relationship between the Flock and their kickass abilities was amazing to me and since reading this I have gone on to read and love other YA novels by James Patterson who is best known for adult crime fiction.
When a movie was announced and we finally had some sort of confirmation, I was looking forward to seeing some action and female awesomeness along with great relationships. Also, a pretty original story.
This did not happen.
The Maximum Ride movie was an abomination not just on the book but as a movie in
The cast is pretty unknown, which sadly is not usually good, although Max is played by a social media “celebrity”.
One of the producers is also Jenna Marbles a well-known YouTuber who although is quite funny is not known for her producing skills.
The director for this movie has actually worked in a lot of movies but mostly in the art department.
In terms of looks, the cast is okay. Nudge the only Black character in the film (I can’t remember if there are any in the book) is aged up a few years in order to be what seemed to be a stroppy teenager.
The hair of Max was irritating because it was the trendy silver we have all seen lately and therefore less indicative of a teen in hiding from a scientific facility.
The costumes are laughable. It seems like the wardrobe department had only seen teens from the late 80s early 90s who were from the wrong side of the tracks. The vests and the leather! Fang, is dressed like he is the definition of brooding bad boy.
The dialogue within the whole movie is cringe-worthy but, especially in the beginning. Exposition is HEAVY. The blind character literally said “I might be blind” eye roll. The scientific language sounds unbelievable.
The relationships that are so important are completely lost in the movie. There’s no feeling of family or any chemistry of future love birds Max and Fang.
Now let’s talk about the visuals! Oh, God the visuals. They are horrific. The wings look like they were copied from a google image. The stunts are not remotely believable and the rest just looks cheap. Probably because it was.
The older kids are a little too knowing for being in cages, which are meant to be like dog crates, and then a house in the middle of nowhere. Although they did have a freaking computer. Which makes no sense since they are IN HIDING! Angel, the youngest, is in the book a super intelligent telepath is watered down to a mute baby. I want to give the young actors the benefit of the doubt especially with the dialogue they had to work with. However, the Actress playing Max has this weird “really” expression she uses for ten minutes of the film and did this head turning thing that looked painful.
The overall movie is slow and not entertaining.
How it should have been done!
First, this series would have been better as a TV series. With enough money to get the visuals that this adaptation will rely on.
The plot does not have to stick strictly to the book because the books are not as good as it’s concept.
A bigger focus was needed on the relationships and the science. That is what makes the series interested.
A good cast and director are especially needed and creative writers who are happy to use the source material but also build upon it.
Next week I will be talking about the Vampire Academy Movie. Buckle the fuck up for that shit storm!
Thanks for reading,