Solarwarriors, also known as Solarbabies, was directed by Alan Johnson and released in 1986. It stars a few recognizable faces from the 1980’s such as Jason Patrick, Lukas Haas and Peter Deluise.
In the future, a nuclear war has left Earth as a desert wasteland, where the ocean has dried up. The world is now ruled by a sinister corporation known as the E-Protectorate. Beyond ruthless, they hoard water and take children from their families to train them to work for the corporation. But when a group of young rebels discover an extraterrestrial sphere with healing powers, they set out to release the planet from the clutches of the oppressors.
Solarwarriors takes place in a post-apocalyptic world and is highly influenced by its peers. Aimed at a younger audience, the film is the Road Warrior for children. This is particularly visible in the costume designs as well as the desertic locations.
The main cast gives great performances and the characters were endearing unlike some of the supporting characters who were a bit over-the-top. The film screams of the 80’s, from the rollerblades to the music, which gives it a very charming aspect. It is corny, cheesy and extremely enjoyable.
The plot is quite weak and the side stories make little sense but being targeted at a young audience, it uses all the elements needed to please the viewer : a fun alien entity, a group of outcasts who like having fun skating around, a journey to escape the oppressing world created by adults… In that regard, it is well constructed.
Each act of Solarwarriors has a different tone : the first act focuses on establishing the main characters, the second act has a heavy post-apocalyptic atmosphere while the third act has a sci-fi feel to it. This structure certainly kept me entertained through the entire movie even though it appears as inconsistent storytelling.
To conclude, Solarwarriors is a cheesy 80’s teen movie with a very high entertainment value. I recommend it, especially if you enjoy 80’s family movies.