11 May 2015

Movie Review: "The Last Chance Detectives, No. 1: Mystery Lights of Navajo Mesa"

Rated: Not Rated
Starring: Ryan Calhoun, Crystle Lightning, Davin Carey, and David Netter
Released: 1994
Synopsis: Mike, Winnie, Ben, and Spence are the Last Chance Detectives, four kids who are willing to solve any mystery in their small town.  When a local museum is being robbed of priceless Native American artifacts, the authorities are stumped...but, then, comic book nerd Ben claims to see aliens, despite no one else in the town believing his story.  This case could be a tough one; are the Last Chance Detectives up to the job?
From Focus on the Family Films.  Features an appearance by Sherry Hursey (Home Improvement).  Written by the Thoene family, writers of the various Zion series.

The Good: At it's core, this movie is a kid-friendly mystery, much like an old episode of Scooby-Doo.  Despite its age, kids who like watching Disney Channel and Nickelodeon will probably enjoy this film.  The production values are on par with many Hollywood productions, and a moral lesson plays a big part in the story.

The Bad: As good as this is, some problems do exist.  Some needless product placement--both Marvel Comics and Apple get promoted--was annoying.  Also, for many viewers, this may be only worth a rental.  Once you solve the mystery, why even bother watching it again?

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: None. 5/5
  • Nudity: None. 5/5
  • Language: Slight name-calling. 4/5
  • Violence: Mild action violence; nothing serious.  The opening shows a plane being shot down, presumably killing the pilot inside. 4/5
  • Drugs: A man appears to be smoking. 4/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: Some emotional intensity, and a mildly scary scene here and there. 4/5
  • Other: Unnecessary product placement. 4/5
Conclusion: This first movie in the Last Chance Detectives telefilm series is definitely a product of its time; even the closing logo looks like something from a '90's CD-ROM game.  Over two decades later, this film is a bit of escapist fun, but, not something to be watched again and again.  If you're a kid at heart like I am, you'll probably enjoy watching it once...but only once.

Score: 3.5/5

No comments:

Post a Comment