Explorers is an action adventure film for children. The three leads were played by River Phoenix, Ethan Hawke and Jason Presson and for both Phoenix and Hawke this was their first feature film. It was directed by Joe Dante and written by Eric Luke. The three misfit best friends fulfil their wildest space fantasy.
The film was not a hit at the box office but this was partly due to the fact that it was competing with the Live Aid concert. However, it has been much more successful in the home video and DVD market and has achieved cult status particularly with the untimely death of River Phoenix.
The appeal of the film is its gentle charm; the three young boys are very normal and have mostly normal lives. The early talent of the three boys is immediately obvious and it is no surprise that Hawke and Phoenix went on to have such prestigious careers. The special effects are not great and the aliens’ costumes are so obviously fake that it is almost laughable; however, a film should not be judged for budget alone.
A school boy obsessed with aliens has a dream about a circuit board and with the help of his friends begins to construct a device. After a few false starts the three eventually successfully build a spaceship and set off on the adventure all young boys dream of – going into space to meet aliens!
Cinema release 1985
Available on DVD