A refreshingly funny rites of passage tale and first feature for Jordan Vogt-Roberts who takes a simple teenage male-bonding outing in the woods and gives it universal appeal. Anyone can remember a time when parents seemed totally ‘uncool’ and the desire to break free from their clutches was the most natural and grown-up thing to do, especially if it involved leaving home for a camping expedition in a hidden location with a group of friends, in a bid to exert some authority and independence.
Here the friends are a motley threesome and well-played by: Joe (Nick Robinson) and Patrick (Gabriel Basso) joined by hanger-on and all-round weirdo Biaggio (Moises Arias). What starts as a breezy summer experience soons turns wintry as the dynamic shifts dramatically between the trio due to a unexpected turn of events. Cracks starts appear not only in their relationship but also in the cabin they excitedly build together.
Chris Galletta’s hilarious script and Vogt-Roberts’ skillful direction make this feelgood summer outing, shot through with touches of angst, a winner for all audiences. MT