Next Gen is the new Netflix original film released to the teaming service on September 7th. The story revolves around a rebellious girl ‘Mai Su’ and her burgeoning friendship with a battle robot ‘7723’.
Over the years the thought of a new Netflix original film has filled the average film lover with a sense of dread, but recently they’ve seemed to have up their game a little (if you ignore the Cloverfield Paradox that is) and Next Gen certainly keeps that upturn in quality going.
The voice acting is strong, the visual eye popping, and the comedy gives you more than a few laugh-out-loud moments. John Krasinski, Charlyne Yi, and Jason Sudeikis all give voice performances full of character and originality.
Accusations of unoriginality have dogged Next Gen since release. There is definitely a hint of Big Hero Six and more than a touch of How to Train Your Dragon, but there is enough here that is original to not make these comparisons a distraction.
The main issue with the film is it doesn’t seem to know what market it’s aiming at. It’s rated a 12a so younger children don’t seem to be the market, but some of the cute visuals seem to counter this; the dogs bleeped swearing is a great joke, but does not fit with either a young or an more mature audience. This can take quite a little getting past and at times I’ll admit I spent a bit too much of the film thinking ‘is this suitable to recommend for my friends children’, to fully follow what was going on.
Once you’re past this distraction you’re left with a highly entertaining animated adventure. There is a little of a Marvel Cinematic Universe feel to it and the final battle could have been lifted straight from an Avengers movie. The difference here is that the final battle in Next Gen manages to be both thrilling and heartbreaking throughout, something Marvel is yet to achieve.
So whilst not overly original Next Gen is an emotional, thrilling, funny, and entertaining film; well worth an hour and forty four minutes of any ones time.