It’s not been a good week for content. Things that just miss their aim and their intended emotion have been plentiful, but we suppose this day was fast approaching. After all, what can be expected when quantity is so much more important than quality? “Crater” calls itself a science fiction film, but we saw very little of that. Honestly, what is the point of setting this movie in such a far future if we are not going to see any out-of-the-box technological advancements? We also don’t see the point of Caleb’s father setting him up on the road trip. Why couldn’t he have just shown him a video of the wonders of the Earth instead? As a grownup, this movie is certifiably unengaging, and if we were children, we would still say the same. Here’s why that is so in the recap:
Do Caleb And His Friends Reach The Crater?
Caleb has lived on the moon, in a lunar colony, all his life, and since his father passed away, he is being sent to Omega, another planet with conditions similar to Earth’s. It is part of a miner’s contract that if they die in the line of duty, then their family gets a pass to Omega, which is why Caleb is designated to go there in three days. It was supposed to be two months later, but the transport has been arranged for earlier. Caleb doesn’t want to go because all of his friends are here, but he doesn’t have much of a choice. Therefore, before he leaves, his best friend Dylan makes a plan that they should all sneak off on a road trip. To do that, they need one of the long-range rovers from the facility, and to gain access to it, they need Addison’s help, whose father is a scientist, so she knows the codes. Addison doesn’t want to help the boys, but she agrees when she learns that the crater, where the boys plan to go, was where Caleb’s dead father wanted to take him. Knowing this, she agrees to help them as long as she can come along. With her help, the boys steal the rover and get out of the facility.
This is the first time any one of them has been outside, barring Addison, who has come to the moon from Earth. They discover some of the abandoned structures on the way and are quite in awe of what could have been. We also come to know a few facts about the system of the moon workers. People who work in the mines are usually under a contract of 20 years, but the number of years keeps increasing if they miss a day of work or there are minor irregularities or any such thing. In fact, if a person dies before they complete their stipulated years, their children will have to take up their leftover years of labor along with their own 20 years. We also find that Dylan’s father had six years from his father to cover before his own term, and he decided to make a run for it when he couldn’t take it. Dylan has had to live with the stigma of that.
But back to the story: the boys start playing a game where they try to fly in the sky using the force of an open oxygen cylinder. But things go wrong, and they end up using two oxygen tanks instead of just the spare one. Addison recommends they go back since oxygen is scarce, but Caleb has another idea. He knows of an old outpost where miners used to get their supplies. He believes they may find some oxygen tanks in that place, so that is where the group goes. They find a nice model home and decide to spend the night there. The group gets closer together as Addison tells them about her home situation, and they eat a lot of the good food they find there.
The next day, when they get back into the rover, they find that it has broken down after going a short distance. It’s an old vehicle that couldn’t work for very long. Seeing that they don’t have enough oxygen to go back to the colony on foot, Addison presses the distress button to call for help. She reasons that they just have to go to the crater and back. By the time they are done, the rescue team will be there for them. It is solid reasoning and most appropriate for the situation they are in.
The crater isn’t far from where their rover is packed, and the kids reach it in no time. Once they get to the bottom of it, they find the passageway to another room where a hidden secret button creates the simulation of a forest, giving the kids a picture of what Earth used to look like in the past. This is what Caleb’s mother wanted him to see and experience. Following his father’s instructions, Caleb spots the brook that splits into two, and since it is all a simulation, when he reaches that spot, the simulation stops, and Caleb finds a compartment on the floor with his parents’ picture and his mother’s ashes. He places his father’s ashes next to his mother’s, making their final resting places next to each other.
‘Crater’ Ending Explained: Do Caleb, Dylan And The Kids Get Rescued?
Caleb finally understands why his father wanted him to come to this place. It wasn’t just about seeing what forests or nature looked like. Caleb’s father wanted to be next to his wife, which meant that his death had not been an accident. His father had died so that Caleb would have a chance at a better life in Omega. But Caleb doesn’t want to leave anymore. That is when Dylan tells him to take the chance since it is one that only a select few get. However, right then, Marcus collapses. He needs his medicines since the moon’s gravity might have affected his blood pressure. But as the kids rush back to the rover, the forecasted meteor shower starts. They barely get to safety by the skin of their teeth, and each one of them starts passing out as their oxygen levels deplete. Right before Caleb and Dylan are about to pass out, the latter tells his best friend that he enjoyed every minute of their time together and would do so again.
When Caleb comes back to consciousness, he is already in Omega, which means that 75 years have passed since his road trip. This means that help did arrive for the kids, and they are all safe. At the end of “Crater”, while Caleb is adjusting to his new life with a foster family in Omega, he is given a device that has 75 years’ worth of messages from Dylan that Addison arranged for by fighting with her dad. Dylan had gone on to marry Addison and have his own children and grandchildren. Marcus and Borney also led very fulfilling lives, and as for Addison, she protested against the unfair laws, and it had paid off. Leftover years from a contract did not pass down to the next generation. In fact, the unfair loopholes were also taken care of in the present laws. The friends had all led great lives, and they just wished the same for Caleb now. In Omega, Caleb meets Charlie, Addison’s brother, who left Earth with his mother when she got divorced from his father. Charlie and Caleb became good friends, as Addison had spoken about him to her brother as well. It is a good ending that deserves a better movie, and this will be a sore point for us.
World-building is so important for any piece of content. That was not done adequately enough for “Crater,” making it seem more like an episode of a series than a movie in itself. That is why we were so disengaged because otherwise, the movie brought nothing new to the table. This was supposed to be a transformative journey for the kids, one that defined the course of their entire lives, but its communication to the viewer was not as sharp as it should have been. Either way, it’s just another drop in the ocean of content that misses the mark, and we pray for the day the tides turn, and we can see some fresh water. Sorry for the bad metaphors; we just saw a bad movie.