Parents' Guide to

The Rack Pack

By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Low-budget "Stand by Me" rip-off has some violence.

Movie NR 2018 81 minutes
The Rack Pack Poster Image

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There's an ineptitude to this movie that's almost impressive. While low-budget movies often get some slack in terms of the acting and production values, that slack is used up within the first 15 minutes of The Rack Pack: Continuity errors. Characters and scenes that don't really have a reason to exist. Rope traps that clearly don't succeed at going around the ankle of the bad guy, but still manage to pull him down and drag him away. And that's just the beginning.

While the film is trying to evoke a similar spirit as, say, Stand by Me or The Goonies, there simply isn't enough competency going on here to attain the level of quality seen in those movies. Early on, some of the lead characters attend the funeral of their mother. They're crying and distraught, but when it's over, she's never discussed again or shown to have any effect on their future behavior. One of the tweens mows lawns for military badges in lieu of cash. One of his customers gives him a Purple Heart, something with so much obvious meaning and potential for future events, but instead it's just used as an anecdote. And there's supposed to be an air of nostalgia to this, when kids actually went outside and used their imaginations, but the parents use smartphones, and everything else is as present-day as can be. While no one doubts the sincerity in trying to tell this story, it's too confusing and amateurish to follow.

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