Dystopian futures along the lines of The Hunger Games are currently all the rage in teen movies (witness Divergent and The Maze Runner), but sci-fi adventure The Giver, based on the 1993 young-adult novel by Lois Lowry, seems distinctly tepid beside its rivals.
The setting is a seemingly utopian community in which all strife but also all emotion and colour have been eliminated thanks to the daily dose of drugs taken by its inhabitants. However, maverick teenager Jonas (Brenton Thwaites) stops taking his meds and rebels…
Sadly, The Giver is as bland and unexciting as its utopia and viewers will be picking holes in this implausible set-up long before Jonas does. Which is all the more disappointing given the film’s impressive cast. Meryl Streep is an icily ruthless elder and Jeff Bridges the wise recluse who becomes the hero’s mentor, and there are roles, too, for Katie Holmes, Alexander Skarsgård and pop star Taylor Swift.
Certificate 12. Runtime 93 mins. Director Phillip Noyce.
Released on Blu-ray & DVD by Entertainment in Video on Monday 19th January.
To activate the sound in the trailer: hold your cursor over the screen to reveal the control panel and click on the volume control in the bottom right-hand corner.