'Troop Zero' Review: The heartwarming tale of a bunch of misfits and their adventures is a thorough entertainer
It is a pleasant watch, something that you could sit through with some popcorn and soda with a smile throughout the 90 minutes
Simply put, 'Troop Zero' is a heartwarmer. Amazon Prime's dramedy is filled with enough fun, sentiment, great 70s tracks and a cast that ensures this 90-minute affair is a fun, breezy watch.
Set in 1977's rural Georgia, the movie follows Christmas Flint (Mckenna Grace), a determined kid wanting to attempt to contact aliens by recording a message on NASA's Golden Record.
The record is essentially a time-capsule of sorts with enough media forms launched into space to establish some connection with extraterrestrials.
It's not all sunshine and rainbow as the only way to do it is by winning the statewide Birdie Scout competition, the Jamboree. The school's local troops don't take Christmas in their team and make fun of her bed-wetting issues.
A still-determined Christmas recruits a bunch of misfits and forms her own troop. The team comprises Charlie Shotwell's Joseph, also called the boy-girl who prefers fashion over football.
Milan Ray's Hell-No Price is an absolute bully of a kid while Johanna Colón's Smash is mute, but is all smiles and as her name suggests, smashes things to communicate. Add to the list, Bella Higginbotham's Anne-Claire, a girl with just one eye and is evangelical.
Heading the team as the troop mother is Viola Davis' Miss Rayleen, a woman who works as Christmas' father's secretary of a rather, down-the-doldrums law firm.
This Bert & Bertie-helmed underdog comedy-drama has all the necessary ingredients that eventually add to one thing: faith and belief in one's ability, no matter what the odds are.
It is predictable with the misfit children slowly coming to terms with the harsh reality of life and finding out ways to dodge life's curveballs, and all the while, it has generous sprinkles of humor to keep the audience entertained.
While the plot is pretty simple and straightforward, it is bettered by the cast, especially Davis as troop mother, Rayleen. For someone who is shown to hate kids and not "hit them anymore" since the law forbids her to, she makes a brilliant teacher as she teaches them to work around their weaknesses.
Grace as Christmas is simply adorable as she goes about her task with innocent, yet single-minded devotion. Shotwell, after essaying a commendable performance and being the lone bright spot in Netflix's horror-squib, 'Eli', plays Grace's best friend and makes great use of his screentime.
The nostalgia-inducing score further supplements the great acting. 'Troop Zero' may not be a ground-breaking feature, but it does serve well for the streaming network that has successfully put out great slice-of-life content in the last couple of years.
It is a pleasant watch, something that you could sit through with some popcorn and soda with a smile throughout the 90 minutes. 'Troop Zero' is available for streaming on Amazon Prime Video and will release theatrically on February 1, 2020.