Maika (2022)

Tom Dang, Dom Dinh, Elyse Dinh, Ivan Mok,
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.
  • 6.3 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2022-09-28 Added:
  • Writer:
  • Ham Tran, Director:
  • Duy Ho, Anderson Le, Jenni Trang Le, Bao Nguyen, Producer:

Trailer:

3 / 10

Sloppy and dated

Saw this back at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival.

Look I understand, this is a children movie. Children movies are meant to be entertaining for young viewers to sit back and be in awe with something funny, fast paced and highly enjoyable. I understand. But "Maika" suffers from a really cheesy and sloppy narrative with some of the most dated special effects that looked like something from an early 2010s movie. BAD special effects isn't a big problem if the story is still interesting but this isn't the case. The story is all over the place and it isn't helping with the special effects being really dated.

There's really no charm or passion to be found in Maika because it's really lazy and forgettable. The character development is really bad. The performances, in general, aren't good. All the acting is really over the top and felt really fake. None of the dialogue was realistic as I wasn't able to believe a single word from any of the characters. Now you may say "I am being too harsh" because they are children. I have seen a handful of films where the children actors are amazing. So I know what good child acting looks like. It's not here.

When watching this during the virtual fest, I was over at some relatives house and I decided to watch it with their child who was around the age of 9 years old. He clearly enjoyed this movie a lot more than I did which I didn't mind. This is a movie really just for kids. It isn't for a movie for me.

But honestly, it felt like I am watching "Jellyfish Eyes"

Not Good.

Rating: D+

10 / 10

Such a charming movie

From young to adulthood I recommend this movie. Heartfelt at some scenes to hilarious at others! I love "Beo". The movie based on a child who lost his mother and now coping life with Dad. A cute sci-fi movie that has a twist when Maika enters into the child's life and changing everything. A must see with the family.

3 / 10

Very bad Movie

So many poor points in this movies. As a Vietnamese who was at the same age of the children in the movie, I find nothing looks like 80s or 90s either (the buildings, out fit of the characters, the scene...). There's no respect to the children who are aimed for being the audience for this movie.

8 / 10

An adorable and impeccably filmed story of friendship and exploration

Maika: The Girl from Another Galaxy is an adorable and impeccably-filmed story of friendship and exploration. It's the perfect sci-fi adventure for the whole family this Labor Day.

Maika: The Girl from Another Galaxy follows the story of Hung (Phu Truong Lai), a young boy in Vietnam. After Hung's mother Hang (Elyse Dinh) passes away from lung disease, and he loses his best friend My to an unexpected move to Saigon, he discovers a crashed spaceship and makes a new friend, Maika (Chu Diep Anh), with powers. Together, they embark on fun-filled adventures while taking on various villains like the head of an aeronautical company before helping Maika find her way back to her home planet.

Ham Tran's direction truly ties this film together; even though the film is based on a Czechoslovakian TV series that became a cultural sensation in Vietnam in the 1980s and '90s, it comes across as an original film. My favorite part of the film was the special effects, as I think it should be in a sci-fi film. When Maika does her "magic," purple beams emanate from her fingers; it is beautiful! The performances by Chu Diep An as Maika and Hung by Phu Truong Lai steal the show; I was moved by Lai's emotive performance in the initial scenes where his mother is hospitalized, and An's chirpy, bubbly character stole my heart.

Maika: The Girl from Another Galaxy promotes finding your own adventures, fostering positive friendships, and overall being a good, virtuous person. There is one scene to watch out for where Maika, unaware of Earthly social norms about clothing, pounces on Hung naked; she is shown from the neck up, though.

I give Maika: The Girl from Another Galaxy 4 stars out of 5 and recommend it for ages 8 to 12. Maika: The Girl from Another Galaxy debuts on digital outlets on September 6, 2022. By Eshaan M., KIDS FIRST!