Next Gen is a poor man’s Big Hero 6, and given the choice, you should probably go watch that instead. This more poorly written knock off is a Netflix original that you probably won’t miss if you don’t watch it. This movie attempts to be an edgier version of Big Hero 6 through its plot, design and music, it fails to entertain. It doesn’t push the envelope hard enough and has more holes in its plot to make it work. Granted I might not be the target audience, but you can still make a movie geared for kids that is still entertaining to other groups.
This is a movie about a trouble teen, Mai, who lives in a world where robots are a part of everyday life. The problem is that she hates robots. The movie suggest that her dislike of robots is due to her distant mother’s obsession with robots. The movie will suggest a lot to give the illusion of plot and character development. As these movies go, she is also troubled by a past you get in small bits of dialogue and flash backs. Because her father left at a young age for whatever reason, she is now unable to trust anyone and therefore forces herself to be alone. Her sad past is what makes her destined to be this movie’s hero. And as this movie’s hero, nothing bad will happen to her.
This is one of those movies where things happen because shitty writing. That is to say that they will make shit up to write themselves out of all the plot holes and it isn’t subtle. For example, her encounter with the robot of the movie, Project 77, as so credulous. She is able to sneak past all of these security robots which makes me believe that robots in this universe are useless if they can’t stop a single little girl from sneaking into a secret lab. Even more troubling is the lack of consequences in the movie. Just reaching Project 77 she causes enough property damage where she should have at least been fined, but of course nothing ever comes of it. Maybe they forgave her because they knew she was destined to save the world.
Then you get the weirdest abusive relationship in cartoon history. Project 77 imprints on Mai and the rest of the movie is Project 77 trying to break through Mai’s hardened character. The issue is that Mai only keeps him around to hurt the ones who hurt her. This is one of those movies where the character has to have the saddest life so everything is wrong with her. Now project 77’s quirk is that he only has a limited amount of memory and he must erase certain memories to keep making new ones. And you never really care because Mai isn’t a nice person. You can argue that her past, the one that was poorly written for her, made her act this way, but I didn’t feel bad for her. I didn’t want to follow her around. She was extremely generic, as characters of this genre often are, and the relationship between Mai and 77 wasn’t captivating like that of the Iron Giant or Big Hero 6.
The other big issue with this movie is the plot. The villain of the movie is ridiculous. His plan to take over the world is to mass produce these robots that he gives to everyone. He plants bombs in these and his plan is to activate them to blow up and destroy humanity. The problem is that these explosions do so little damage that by the end of it you wonder if it was even necessary for Mai and 77 to get involved. Like I have mentioned before, this movie has no consequences and therefore, you will never really care for this movie.
This movie is bland. Netflix seems to be pumping out movies for the sake of pumping them out. These knock offs are not content and instead we get our feed bombarded with crap they keep labeling as original. I wish that instead they would spend more time between releases, so they can make watchable content. They have the ability, I have seen some Netflix content that I didn’t mind but lately it just seems like they are churning cheap rip offs of shows and movies that were successful. The problem with this is you get content with very little substance that panders and it is getting harder and harder to justify paying for the subscription when good content is diluted with this crap. Skip this so they don’t keep making crap like this.