I just watched a movie called Nex Gen. Apparently it was released yesterday for Netflix (I use my friend's account). I didn't expect much from it, but it's cool. Not a masterpiece, not a particularly great sci-fi movie (especially for someone coming from watching Big Hero 6), but it's decent enough. I'd recommend a watch if only for the themes, the cute comics, the special effects and the doggo.
One of the things that flustered me the most was that the characters that grew did it too quickly. When you're watching a movie or reading a book, you expect a gradual growth. That's the whole point of reading the whole thing, to be some sort of spectator of the growth process.
In this movie, people didn't change progressively but instantaneously after crucial events. It would be as if a kidnapping victim developed Stockholm Syndrome just after being caught.
Maybe there are some people who change after a special trigger that makes a memory come out and morph into a new set of behaviours, but it is not the norm, which seems to be the moral of this film. People generally need a lot of work in order to be rehabilitated. It's a long, arduous process that, if treated carelessly, could lead to unexpected changes in unexpected directions.
Next Gen provides only four examples of change, I believe (main character and main secondary characters, except for the villain, of course, who typically remains in character in every film unless the main character magically turns them into good people). I will try not to spoil the movie for those who are planning to watch it, but all of the changes happen after getting beaten up.
Yes, literally. I think that the lesson here was: Bad character? Punch them in the face and they'll be more empathic and become better people overall. Immediately. No process required. Just punch them and you'll see.
If we followed this movie's example, then improving society would be really easy. Just send a bunch of gangsters into every home with misbehaved people and beat them all up. You'll have a better society little by little. Similarly, we could beat up the parents if they abuse their children and they'll suddenly start to love them. Harmony is one punch away, y'all!
However, don't let this ruin your experience of the film if you plan on watching it. It's a cool film to watch... for adults!
I believe the film is originally intended for children (every swear word is censored, there is no blood at all and all deaths are clean and quickly forgotten).
BUT there are many things that are not children-compatible. The main thing is that the film seems to heavily promote violence. Quite literally, every single problem in the film was solved through violence. Get bullied? Beat them up. Bad government? Beat them up. Parents don't pay enough attention? Get them beat up. Social insatisfaction? Beat everyone up. Everything and everyone magically turns better after a bit of violence.
Watch this with pleasure and a critical mind, and if you let children watch it, make sure to have a little talk with them so that they understand that what they see here is an extreme example of imperfect humans and not an example to follow in their social interactions.
If there's a lesson to take from Next Gen, it's that people can be bad for you sometimes and you shouldn't be afraid (and instead you should be prepared) to fight for your rights, for your freedom and for your safety.
Also cute doggos are cute.