The Rack Pack is a fun caper designed for tweens. It revolves around three brothers with a single-parent father who is a military man. They emulate him and seek adventure for themselves with some friends by forming a boys gang of sorts (though one girl is allowed) called The Rack Pack.
Their pretending to be soldiers bonds them to one another, and by facing danger while following their passions, they become real-life heroes. This movie has a definite Home Alone feel, even if the production quality and some of the acting is not as professional as one might hope. Regardless, the film clicks along at a nice pace as the boys set traps and work together to outsmart the bad guys.
This is ultimately an uplifting tale where a cynical and somewhat ruthless townsman named Ted (C. Thomas Howell) convincingly connives and even threatens the kids for getting in his way to a hidden treasure buried somewhere in an underground tunnel. The kids, of course, hope to get to the treasure first.
There is also a patriotic feel to this film as one boy collects war medals and shows great respect for the older men in the film who have served in war, including the father, Rackley (David Shifter). Things take a more serious turn when the thieves become kidnappers. When Rackley ends up in danger, the kids, in full army gear, and using pseudo torture on the kidnappers, work feverishly to rescue him and reunite the family.
The Dove Take
This movie is a throwback to endearing films like Stand by Me and The Outsiders, where young boys band together for a common cause that highlights the power of teamwork and brotherhood. Watching the boys fight in innovative ways for what they love—in the absence of direct adult guidance—could be inspirational and empowering to all young kids.
We award The Rack Pack the Dove-Approved All Ages Seal.