Capture The Flag film review: mission success?

Is new kids movie Capture The Flag an out of this world experience?

Aside from the aspirational female characters, including an American president and the first teenage girl on the moon, Capture The Flag offers little more than a run-of-the-mill animated family space adventure.

Its message, regarding colonisation and the treacherous acts committed in its name, is simply bizarre, and absolutely confusing by the end of the film, but there’s lots of shiny stuff, loud music (Cotton Eye Joe, for one) and a sweet story about the importance of family in between to keep small children amused.

When egotistical billionaire and oil tycoon Richard Carson announces the moon landing was faked (with a cheeky nod to Stanley Kubrick) and that he intends to launch a rocket into space to claim the land, NASA spring into action to try and beat him using Apollo XI and a group of veteran astronauts to train up a new team. However, due to dastardly tricks by Carson, the NASA vehicle takes off unexpectedly early with two children, a lizard and an elderly astronaut aboard.

High points usually involve scenes featuring Igor the lizard, who appears with all types of fantastic gadgets attached to him thanks to his young and boisterous bespectacled owner who gets a weirdly judged moment involving a skin rag. Thankfully, though the writers are respectful to the older characters with a lovely cross-generational thread pulling the story together.

here are a few fun facts thrown in to educate the younger audience about the Apollo missions, and the animated rockets are particularly detailed, with the design of the modern rocket proving to be eye-catching.

Capture The Flag lands on the saccharine side for the most part, with the exciting adventure saved for the latter half. The basic humour means there’s not much to laugh at apart from the preposterous ending, though there is a cool DIY training montage involving the young aspiring astronauts.

There is an inkling of a better film here but something appears to have got lost in translation, making this quite the forgettable voyage.