Movie review: The Sleepover

Published September 26, 2020

The ongoing pandemic may have forced cinemas to shut down, but Netflix has made sure that we stay entertained even during these strange times. The streaming service has been releasing movies all summer, including fun new films for viewers of all ages. Its latest family-friendly adventure arrives in the form of The Sleepover, a new action comedy that relies mostly on old tricks.

The film revolves around the Finch clan — school lunchtime supervisor Margot (portrayed by Malin Åkerman), her pastry chef husband Ron (Ken Marino), and their kids, teenage cellist daughter Clancy (Sadie Stanley) and imaginative son Kevin (Maxwell Simkins). The family may seem average when we first meet them, but their lives soon take an exciting turn.

Secrets are revealed when dangerous people show up at the Finches’ house and kidnap Margot and Ron. It turns out that Margot used to work with criminals. Her old associates now want her to take part in one more heist and threaten to hurt her family if she refuses.

When the kids find out that their parents have been abducted, they set out on a quest to rescue the grownups. With the help of a couple of their friends, Clancy and Kevin must follow the clues that their mum has left for them, stop the bad guys, and save their parents (who are, by this point, trying to steal a crown with the assistance of Margot’s handsome old flame, Leo (Joe Manganiello).

It’s a fun-filled journey that entertains but doesn’t do anything particularly different or surprising. So many elements of the movie feel familiar; you are more likely to find the tale exciting if you haven’t already seen similar films, like the Spy Kids series. Also, there are a few ideas that the movie doesn’t take full advantage of. It could have, for instance, done more with the cool gadgets that the youngsters discover while trying to find their parents.

Even though this isn’t the most creative project, The Sleepover does keep you engaged, thanks in part to its charming cast who make sure their characters remain likable. If you are in the mood for a silly adventure with some witty banter and a few amusing high jinks, then The Sleepover just might be worth a watch.

Published in Dawn, Young World, September 26th, 2020

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