Friday, February 7, 2020

Troop Zero (2019)



Streaming Service: Amazon Prime
Movie Name/Year: Troop Zero (2019)
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Family
Length: 94 minutes
Rating: PG
Production/Distribution: Amazon Studios, Big Indie Pictures, Escape Artists, Amazon Prime Video
Director: Bert & Bertie
Writer: Lucy Alibar
Actors: Mckenna Grace, Viola Davis, Jim Gaffigan, Allison Janney, Charlie Shotwell, Milan Ray, Johanna Col√≥n, Bella Higginbotham, Mike Epps, Ashley Brooke, Ash Thapliyal, Kai N. Ture, Kenneth Wayne Bradley, Edi Patterson, Maureen Brennan, Gwendolyn Mulamba, Jecobi Swain, Herreast Harrison, Lucy Alibar

Blurb from IMDb: In rural 1977 Georgia, a misfit girl dreams of life in outer space. When a competition offers her a chance to be recorded on NASA's Golden Record, she recruits a makeshift troop of Birdie Scouts, forging friendships that last a lifetime.


Selina’s Point of View:
Troop Zero was awesome. It felt like some of the really good young teen/kids films from the 90s, like Little Giants (1994) or The Mighty Ducks (1992). Only, instead of sports, the kids are in a girl scout-like troop. They’re just a group of misfits trying to win something.

Here’s the thing. I feel this movie in my soul.

I was a girl scout when I was younger. For the majority of that time, I had the best troop. We did all the cool stuff; like hiking, camping, knot-tying, etc. When I was just shy of becoming a Cadet, the troop lost funding. So, thinking every troop was the same, my mom put me in another one.

There was no way I could have been more of a misfit. I went from doing all the active badges to being stuck making fuzzy magnets. Every. Friday.

I not only stopped going, I started sneaking over to boy scouts and participating from the back of the room until they decided I was their mascot.


Troop Zero took me back to wanting to be a part of something so much that I was willing to shove myself into a situation that everyone saw me as a bad fit for, even with the consequences. I was a boy scout mascot long past when parents started complaining about me being there. When I was no longer allowed in the room, I sat right outside the door, and I learned that way.

Maybe all that history makes this film hit differently for me. I see myself in the main character, so it’s easier for me to suffer her losses and celebrate her successes.

Either way, I still think this flick took some risky turns and I have to appreciate that – especially since it worked. It was realistic. I felt things, I laughed… everything it wanted out of me, it got.

I enjoyed Troop Zero. When my daughter’s a little older, I look forward to watching it with her.


Cat’s Point of View:
I was excited that this Amazon original came up for review. Likely, I would have watched it relatively soon, even if it hadn’t. It had landed as my #6 on my January 2020 Top 20 list, after all. I was doubly excited that my daughter got a chance to watch it with me.

Troop Zero has given me a serious case of ‘the feels.’ I was on a rollercoaster of emotion as I ran the gauntlet of nostalgia, sympathy, cringe, laughter, warm-fuzzies, triumph, and heartache.

When I was little, I tended to be the odd kid that befriended the other misfits when I wasn’t a loner, myself. I had a tomboy streak a mile long and went from playing with Barbies with the girl across the street to digging for worms in the mud and catching frogs and turtles with her older brother.


Late in junior high I was the new kid or the weirdo with glasses that liked to read rather than playing basketball – or whatever it was that was going on. I was different. It was easy for the snobby bullies to turn their noses up at me. They even gave ultimatums to those that tried being friendly – they could choose the popular kids over me or they could become shunned too.  But I digress…

My heart hurt for little Christmas and her rag-tag group of Birdie Scouts. I could easily step into her shoes. At the same time, it was wonderful to watch their journey as they learned to celebrate their own strengths and grew in friendship. I love a good underdog tale.

The cast here was phenomenal. Each role was brought to life so vividly. Their performances gave me giggles, invoked ire, and induced misty eyes as they embodied this story of hope, friendship, and perseverance.

I would watch this movie again in a heartbeat, and it has my solid recommendation for anyone looking for a little slice of the late 70s woven into a tale of diversity and bucking the status quo. 


Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 68%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 80%
Metascore – 59/100
Metacritic User Score – 5/10
IMDB Score – 7.0/10
CinemaScore – None

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating – 5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 5/5

P.S. There’s some audio and images during the credits.

Movie Trailer:

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