A consistently intelligent (or at least bright), coherently constructed comedy that is on occasion a rather pointed critique of the American education system in the…
It's always a little depressing to see great time and effort spent on ripping off somebody else's original ideas, but that happens a lot in the movie business - and it happens all over the place with "Solarbabies." This movie owes so much to the "Road Warrior" pictures that I doubt if it could have been made without them. Since the movie so clearly required great dedication, especially in its visual effects and the use of its desert locations, I can only wonder why they didn't spend equal effort on finding an original story to tell.
The movie takes place in a future world devoid of free water, where all of the children are gathered and placed in concentration camps called orphanages. Life for them seems fairly undisciplined; they spend their days playing a roller-skate version of ice hockey, and their nights skulking about the compound dreaming up revolutionary plans. A central dictatorship controls their society by rationing all the water - for what purpose, we are never sure.
One day a little kid (Lukas Haas) makes a marvelous discovery. He finds a glowing ball of pure energy that seems capable of transforming his wishes into reality. The ball is named Bodhi, and comes from outer space. He shares his discovery with the older kids, who have adopted him as a mascot, and together they determine to break out of the orphanage and discover what's out there in the world. "We must have parents somewhere," reasons the heroine, who is not named Terra by accident.
Once the kids break out of the compound, the movie turns into a "Road Warrior" clone, including chases through the desert in ersatz vehicles and a visit to a bizarre desert city named Tiretown, which is made out of junk - and a close look at Tina Turner's Thunderdome.