Armed with nothing more than twigs, their imaginations and a simple set of rules, a group of 12-year-olds engaged in a lively game of Capture the Flag in the neighborhood woods start dangerously blurring the lines between make-believe and reality. Paint-filled balloons = Grenades. Trees = Control towers. Sticks = Sub-machine guns. The youthful innocence of the game gradually takes on a different tone as the quest for victory pushes the boundaries of friendship. The would-be warriors get a searing glimpse of humanity's dark side as their combat scenario takes them beyond the rules of the game and into an adventure where fantasy combat clashes with the real world. Written by
7.1 of 10. Far more entertaining than the average war film, and far more insightful. It's tempting, and would be too easy, to compare it to Lord of the Flies given the ages fo the combatants. It is a more realistic and more likely version of Lord of the Flies, something that could easily happen in bigger town or distant suburb, maybe South Park in the 6th or 7th grade or Kids (1995) 3 years earlier and a 100 miles north of New York City. Part of the enjoyment is that it does set itself apart from most of the common teen/child story lines.
Outside of some annoyances involving actions and characters that seem to be stretching reality or purely for sex appeal to naive tweens (the power bra wearing 13ish girl), it immerses and continues to keep you guessing as to the outcome. It's not a film to watch for the action of war as much as the mystery and intrigue, as if a spy game more than a war game.
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