Movie review: The Promised Neverland
Based on the best-selling manga and anime series, what this live-action Japanese film adaptation promises indeed is pure escapist fun.
Grace Field House is a paradisiacal orphanage where the children - who happily live there with their beloved "Mother"/caretaker Isabella (Keiko Kitagawa) - all look forward to the day they are old enough to be adopted.
However, when a gifted trio (Minami Hamabe, Kairi Jyo and Rihito Itagaki) stumble upon the place's horrific secret, they concoct a dangerous and desperate prison break.
Aside from exaggerated performances and iffy CGI rendering of the monsters that inhabit their world, this dark fantasy wields a shocking premise that poses provocative questions and provides edge-of-seat twists and thrills.
Watching betrayed children young and old come together as a family to outsmart their adult oppressors is a treat, although antagonist Isabella's story arc leaves us wanting more.
Casting comedy superstar Naomi Watanabe, Japan's most followed person on Instagram, may seem like a sell-out, but she does bring comic relief as Isabella's eccentric recruit, Sister Krone.
THE PROMISED NEVERLAND (PG)