The Ending of ‘Space Cadet’ Makes You A Little Warm To This Stupid Astronaut Movie

By Daniel Hart
Published: July 4, 2024 (Last updated: 5 days ago)
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Emma Roberts in Space Cadet image as part of review and ending explained
Emma Roberts as Rex Simpson in 'Space Cadet' (Credit - Prime Video)

WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS

1.5

Summary

Space Cadet tries to do something, but it’s a weak attempt at meaningful comedy.

The ending of Space Cadet would have reached a ludicrous level if Rex had managed to fool NASA and become a fully qualified astronaut despite showing no credentials or proof of skill. Let’s face it: Rex blagging through space training is the comedy, but we enjoyed her friend Nadine (played by Poppy Liu) pretending to be her job and educational references more.

By the end of Space Cadet, Rex was kicked out of NASA with zero legal problems despite flying a plane and putting lives at risk. However, when her former crew mates embark on their mission to the ISS (International Space Station), they hit a life-threatening technical problem.

The crew cannot leave the space station, and in 72 hours, they’ll lose power, meaning they’ll suffocate and die.

Rex, who barely shows any guilt for dangerously fooling NASA, has a plan to save the ISS crew and forces a meeting with Logan and Pam. They are reluctant at first to Rex’s plan, but considering they don’t have any ideas at all and their crew is going to die, they have no choice. So, using Toddrick’s resources, Rex and Violet (also removed from the astronaut program) headed to space to help the team.

I won’t get into the technicalities of Rex saving the crew on the ISS. Let’s say she “just did it,” completing a happy ending to a rather stupid movie. It would be an insult to anyone’s intelligence even to consider what she did.

The result? Well, Rex and Violet are employed by Toddrick’s space company, which helps civilians travel in space. Rex also closes the minor romantic subplot with Logan, who, despite risking his entire senior job at NASA, feels like a fraudulent woman like Rex is worth being with.

Rex fulfilled a lifelong promise to her deceased mother and ended up in space. Of course, Mars didn’t happen, but that could be a sequel. I’m joking; despite having no problems with Emma Roberts, I’d rather not hurt her career further and do a Space Cadet 2.

Final Review and Thoughts

I won’t sit here and tell readers that Space Cadet is worth watching because it is not. However, what I will say is that it is harmless fun. I found myself laughing at a few strange jokes and got annoyed on a couple of occasions because I giggled at something that’s arguably dumb.

The reason for my annoyance is that this is not a good movie by any measure. It’s all about a girl’s dream to go to space, but her story has no underlying meaning or message apart from lying and being casually naive. And I suppose that’s the point, but then we are flagrantly frying our brains for no good reason apart from finding an excuse to put Emma Roberts, Poppy Liu, Tom Hopper, and Gabriel Union in a film.

I’m not sure if this indicates where we are as a society, but we have reached a point where we believe a comedy movie has to have no meaning. That’s absurd. Imagine if Big or Elf had no underlying message about life, maturity, or moral questioning.

And that’s what Space Cadet is. It’s the TikTok brain of movies where anything can happen for no good reason. And while that’s okay in short clips that spiral on social media, it doesn’t work in a feature movie. And I know some folks will reference Space Force, which is also silly and wiped off Netflix after a second season. Well, the only difference here is that Space Force, as a series, failed to get its political angling and delivery right, even with Steve Carell at the helm. 


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