This film is titled "Junior Pilot" here on IMDb but "Final Approach" at Netflix. Go figure! The movie is a delight for both the target youth audience and for adults who can suspend their maturity long enough to watch this film through the eyes of their own youth. For the adult, the story is quite predictable, and perhaps trite and melodramatic; whereas the tale may seem new and creative to youngsters who have not yet seen or read many films or books with such a story line.
In any case, credit must be given to the film's creators, particularly the director James Becket and the cinematographer Denis Maloney, for making this most entertaining and visually interesting film. The cut-aways to the young protagonist Ricky's fantasy thoughts are hilarious as well as delightfully filmed.
The young actors give uniformly believable performances, seemingly quite invested in their roles--silly as many scenes are. Jordan Garrett plays the protagonist "Ricky" with quite well, having excellent camera presence. Jeffrey Tedmori creates a delightfully soft and sensitive "Shashi" who of all ridiculous things thrives on hot sauce. Skyler Samuels and Adam Cagley give solid performances as well.
As is typical of his always fine acting, Larry Miller creates a solid parental figure around which the children's part-real, part-fantasy world revolves. Compared to his father-figure, the other major adult roles appear to be shallow and one-dimensional, intentionally and quite humorously so, to be sure.
This movie is a simplistic youth-targeted story, of course, yet it is quite entertaining, perhaps repeatedly so to the targeted youth crowd, but also for at least one viewing by adults who retain the ability to view such a film from their once-youthful perspective.
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