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Prime Video has a new number one movie - just don't read the reviews

Out of this world or lost in space? Prime Video's top movie is an astronaut comedy...

Prime Video has a new number one movie - just don't read the reviews
Andrew Williams
08 July 2024

There’s a new number one movie at Prime Video and, like many a comedy, this one has not had the best reception from critics.

Space Cadet is Prime Video’s top movie of the moment. It’s the number one movie in the UK and Australia, plus 38 other countries, but hasn’t quite managed to remove the Beekeeper’s sting in the US just yet according to Flixpatrol.

This is a high concept comedy. Space Cadet stars Emma Roberts as Rex. She’s a woman who was once a bit of a brain in school but has spent the last decade partying and working in bars rather than making a career.

However, she decides to apply to be an astronaut at NASA and, thanks to a completely made-up CV, actually manages to get into the training programme.

You can probably picture how this one pans out. Space Cadet is a silly comedy served with a slice of female empowerment, even if the messaging is a bit questionable.

Prime Video has a new number one movie - just don't read the reviews
Image Credit: Prime Video

The key to enjoying this one seems to be to switch off brain and disable as many critical faculties as you can. Most of the positive comments in reviews are regarding Emma Roberts’s performance, which is charming and suitably frothy. But it wasn’t enough to avoid Space Cadet getting roundly panned by the critics.

It currently sits at 26% at Rotten Tomatoes. Positive reviews do exist, but there aren’t a whole heap of them.

One of the best comes from the Roger Ebert website, which gave Space Cadet a solid 2.5/4 score.

It says Space Cadet is "effectively entertaining, thanks largely to Roberts’ performance, which she seems to be enjoying so much it would be impossible not to enjoy it with her.”

Empire’s 2-star review calls Space Cadet “yet another very low-rent straight-to-streaming effort.”

“The whole film — which is ostensibly a celebration of science, remember — takes a wirdly anti-intellectual stance, seemingly suggesting that you can make it beyond the stars powered purely by vibes,” it says.

The Guardian goes even further, giving Space Cadet’s “lazy streaming slop” a 1-star review.

“The uplift of a woman triumphing in a male-dominated Stem world isn’t enough to get us through a mess of grindingly unfunny dialogue, too-broad performances and an utter, movie-killing lack of charm,” it says.

Before you get totally turned off, there’s a chance you might enjoy Space Cadet if you come in with the right expectations. For example, JoBlo’s 6/10 review is grudgingly positive. “While I was still annoyed by the complete lack of logic present throughout, it’s relatively harmless,” the review reads.

Space Cadet was written and directed by Liz W. Garcia, who previously directed The Lifeguard and One Percent More Humid.