Saturday, June 4, 2022

Maika: The Girl From Another Galaxy - Movie Review

The Movie: Maika: The Girl From Another Galaxy

The Director: Ham Tran

The Cast: Phu Truong Lai, Diep Anh Chu, Tin Tin, Ngoc Tuong, Kim Nha

The Story: After a meteor falls to earth, 8-year-old Hung meets an alien girl from the planet Maika, searching for her lost friend. The alien helps Hung make new friends and heal a broken heart. But danger lurks everywhere.

The Review:
Wow, this movie is such a ray of sunshine and a total throwback to 80's Amblin Entertainment style movies like E.T. and The Goonies. The whole movie from start to finish has a feel good vibe and a tone that is just so enjoyable and perfect for getting the whole family together for a movie night. Ham Tran, who wrote and directed the movie, does a great job of putting together a story that is inspiring, entertaining, and is filled with lessons about family, friendship, love, and loss.

These are all universal themes that cross cultural boundaries and are pretty universal from a human persepective so I think anyone will be able to relate to the story. The movie is presented first and foremost in Vietnamese with subtitles although there is an English dubbed version available for those that have a preference either way. No matter which way you go, the story is very accessible for anyone and overall, it's a very kid friendly movie that focuses on the two main characters Hung and Maika and their budding friendship.

The title character Maika is played by Diep Anh Chu who is making her screen debut and wow what a debut it is. I don't think you could ever ask for a cuter or sweeter performance that absolutely fits the style and tone of the movie. We might just have a potential movie star on our hands if what this young lady does here is any indication of what the future has in store. Phu Truong Lai plays Hung, the young boy who finds Maika also does a great job with his character who not only deals with discovering an alien life form but also the loss of his mother and a disconnect with his father. A lot going on for these two young ones and they handle all of it beautifully.

There are a lot of life lessons happening in this movie and even the adults get in on the action. Hung's father Thanh, played by Ngoc Tuong, a man who has been just sort of adrift after losing his wife to illness so there's a little something for everyone to take in while the fun adventures are playing out. The special effects are a little cheesy and of course not to the immaculate standards of a major studio feature although they also fit perfectly into the whimsical nature of the story so I had no problem with any bits of cartoonish animation when it comes to drones or spaceships.

The Verdict:
Maika: The Girl From Another Galaxy is an out of this world, kid friendly adventure movie that excels in delivering the type of super fun, feel good movie that we really need right now. Highly recommended for kids of all ages and family movie nights.

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