Emma Roberts' Prime Video film Space Cadet branded 'slop' by critics

Rex (Emma Roberts) in SPACE CADET Photo Credit: Eric Liebowitz//Prime Video
Emma Roberts stars as Rex in Space Cadet, a young woman who decides to make her dream of becoming an astronaut come true despite being unqualified. (Prime Video)

Emma Roberts stars in Space Cadet, Prime Video's answer to comedies like Legally Blonde but which has not been lauded in quite the same way as the Reese Witherspoon classic.

The film centres on Rex (Roberts), a young woman who has always aspired to be an astronaut but was forced to cut her education short in order to care for her mother, but that won't stop her from achieving her dreams. Instead, Rex decides to forge her application to NASA and finds herself getting accepted.

Space Cadet sells itself as a fun, light-hearted comedy, but it failed to garner many chuckles amongst critics who argued the narrative was "bland" at best, and "streaming slop" at worst.

The Guardian's Benjamin Lee is the one to use the latter description for Space Cadet, arguing in his one star review that the film is "another cheap and poorly made category-filler, the kind that makes you want to reconsider how many streaming subscriptions you’re paying for".

Emma Roberts (Rex) and Director Liz W. Garcia in Space Cadet. (Prime Video)
Critics were deeply underwhelmed by Space Cadet, calling it 'bland' at best and 'streaming slop' at worst. (Prime Video)

Arguing that Space Cadet is "a grim, plasticky reminder of what so many films look and feel like now", he added: "The film exists in the kind of frothy far-away fantasy land where audience questions are not only discouraged but ridiculed.

"It’s not supposed to be taken seriously, defenders would say — fine — but even in such heightened territory, there has to be some sense of structure and Garcia’s script just isn’t smart or slick enough to have us suspend disbelief entirely."

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This was a feeling mirrored in the review from The New York Times' Alissa Wilkinson, who argued that the film is "unwatchable" and is "less a comedy than a dream of one."

Wilkinson wrote: "The jokes feel tired. The actors are mostly doing their best, but the screenplay too often leaves them mimicking comedy rather than performing it."

Watch the trailer for Space Cadet:

Screen Rant's Grant Hermanns wrote that the film would feel more at home on the Disney channel than it does on Prime Video. The critic wrote that Roberts' past roles also made this film "such a disappointing installment for her filmography, with its painfully unfunny script and storyline."

The critic added: "One of the other major issues facing Space Cadet is its very routine plot, which feels far too befitting of a Disney Channel movie rather than something made for teens and young adults. Suspension of disbelief can only go so far, even in a comedy, and yet the movie frequently asks us to turn our brains off and enjoy the wacky adventure Rex and her friends embark on to become astronauts."

Collider's Shaina Weatherhead also argued that the film didn't work as well as it might have hoped to, writing that Roberts gives a "one-note, perky performance" that is "far from enough to make the character’s sins forgivable (at least to the audience)."

The critic went on: "Space Cadet never reaches its potential as a comedy or an aspirational tale. Instead, the movie gets lost in the realm of forgettable, lukewarm rom-coms, having lofty aspirations but, unlike its lead character, remaining firmly on the ground."

Space Cadet is out now on Prime Video.