A couple of awesome looking family flicks are popping up in theatres, just in time for the school holidays! One of these is Wonder Park, so I headed along to see if it was worth dragging the kids along for an outing.
Wonder Park‘s main girl June is #DreamChild. She’s smart, joyful and loves to include all the neighbourhood kids in Wonder Park: the imaginary theme park she and her mother build together. She lives the best kid life: fun parents, great friends, no sign of judgement for being a math geek.
Then tragedy strikes. June’s mother gets sick and has to go away for a while. This, as you can imagine, is absolutely crushing for June. While attempting to run away from math camp to go back home, she stumbles across … dun dun dun … Wonder Park. In real life!
I really enjoyed the first half of the movie. The film sets up the premise and all the (human) characters really well. But as soon as we got to Wonder Park, it felt like the story had finally got to where it wanted to go but realised it only had half the film left. Like me when I’m trying to retell a story and realise I’ve spent nearly ten minutes giving the pre-spiel so, in a haze of embarrassment, I end up glossing over the actual point of the story.
In Wonder Park I got to caring about June’s dad, Banky, her best friend, and now halfway through the film they’re no longer relevant and we’re given new characters to care about? In the end it kinda just felt like two different stories were being roughly stitched together.
There were some nice touches though. Like the message that just because the park is up and running again doesn’t mean the park will be like it was before. I liked that. And Banky felt like a genuine friend.
So all in all Wonder Park is your average family flick. There’s fun, a few jokes, themes of family and facing your problems head on, and the slightest hint of a romance that you’re not really going to care about. Yeah, Wonder Park is an average family flick. But if you’re not expecting much, you and the family will have a pretty fun ride anyway.