Parents' Guide to

Alpha Rift

By Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 14+

Mean, cheesy modern knight's tale has profanity, violence.

Movie PG-13 2021 95 minutes
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While many kids pretend to be knights wielding swords against imaginary dragons, the folks at Medieval Times tell a better story than this awful, offensive waste of time. Fantasy games often have complicated setups, and the one at the heart of this story is no exception: Through the ages, noblemen with four magical helmets have kept a supernatural evil contained inside the "alpha rift" (which looks kind of like a glowing green Nerf football). The dreadful script seems like something crafted by a couple of smart-alecky, foul-mouthed 15-year-olds. Nolan and his best friend, Gabby (Rachel Nielsen), are always the smartest ones in the room, and they let everyone around them know it. They constantly hurl insults and putdowns at literally every other character, and the movie seems to justify -- even celebrate -- their nasty quips. As Nolan trains to become a knight, there's no comeuppance or lesson learned in this area, no way to show that creating an atmosphere of incivility is the opposite of the Code of Chivalry associated with knights of yore.

The movie's action sequences are cheesy and brutal. It's kind of like how kids play, except a kid "stabbing" a friend with an imaginary sword in their room comes off very differently than watching a menacing villain plunge an ax into his minion on a screen. And no teenager is going to endure the movie's special effects, which would've been considered bad in 1982. Other than Lance Henrikson (why are you in this, buddy?), everything and everyone in the film is at their worst. And then the filmmakers have the audacity to end it in a way that sets up another movie. A sequel? Surely you joust.

Movie Details

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