Spot The Tropes
Rim Of The World is unashamedly cheesy, stitching together tropes, scenes and quotes from a myriad of different sources to make one over the top, wacky adventure. Yet somehow it works. Thanks to the way it embraces the sheer absurdity of its over-done premise, Rim Of The World is a lot of fun. Part of that fun comes from the character interactions and the journeys they all take as they grow and evolve over the course of this 90 minute film. It’s silly, funny stuff and if you can take to the comedic style and switch off from the plot (which clearly isn’t meant to be taken seriously) there’s a lot to enjoy here.
The film itself begins with an introduction to our core cast of characters as they head off to Rim Of The World, a beautiful Summer camp. Rich kid Dariush, silent Chinese girl ZhenZhen, tormented Alex and self-confident Gabriel find themselves separated from the group during a canoeing trip. Desperate to find their way back, an emergency broadcast suddenly begins, informing them all that an alien invasion has begun. The rest of the film then takes on a life of its own, as the kids find themselves face to face with the monstrous aliens themselves, tasked with returning a key to try and save humanity.
From here, the rest of the film follows a pretty predictable route, keeping the comedy flowing throughout the film through a mix of character progression and self-aware jabs to film tropes and scenes – some of which referenced by the characters themselves. It’s silly, over the top but ultimately a lot of fun and spotting these tropes is partly the reason the film works as well as it does. Seeing the iconic Jurassic Park kitchen scene or the beginning of Independence Day recreated are certainly the most obvious om display but because of this insistence to reference other films, Rim Of The World lacks a certain originality to help it stand out.
Thankfully the characters are unique enough to make this worth watching through some of the more familiar beats. The four teens have great chemistry together and some of the shots, including one with all four characters on bikes, is very reminisce of Stranger Things or ET. This character driven focus is ultimately what saves this film from its mediocre and simple plot, with good progression for each character over the course of the 90 minute run-time. Even if it is a little simple and obvious, the journeys do all make sense and feel very similar to what you’d find in a family film.
There’s a fair amount of action here too and whether it be the alien spacecraft shooting down ships in the distance or a frantic foot chase with one of the mutants, Rim Of The World keeps the pace moving at a decent speed. Some of the camera work is pretty good here too and the various different locations the kids visit all take on a unique colour scheme the closer they get to their destinations. From eerie purple hues to sickly yellows, Rim Of The World is certainly decent aesthetically although some of the CGI is a little iffy at times.
Of course, given the outlandish nature of the film and the over the top premise, Rim Of The World is not a film to take seriously. At least, not how I interpreted it anyway. The simple plot, one-dimensional side characters and basic premise all act as a foundation for this character-driven journey and for that alone, Rim Of The World does a pretty good job here. I do think the film is misplaced with its rating though and with the swearing cut out, this could be a decent PG flick. With it down as a 15 though, the film feels like its swimming against a very strong tide here but if you can look past the absurdity of the plot, there’s enough here to make for an enjoyable watch, tropes and all.