Written & directed by Liz W Garcia, “Space Cadet” (2024) follows an inquisitive bartender from Florida who mysteriously gets a chance to be a part of the NASA space program. Emma Roberts plays the central role of Rex, who finds herself stuck in a boring routine. Despite her interest in science, she couldn’t achieve her dreams until a golden opportunity knocked on her door. Regardless, this comedy flick on Prime Video resorts to a predictably happy note. The “Space Cadet” ending wouldn’t leave viewers dissatisfied if they wanted a positive ending.  

Spoilers ahead. 

Space Cadet (2024) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis 

“Space Cadet” is a comedy film with hints of romance. It follows Rex, a Florida bartender who dreams of being an astronaut. One day, she gets a surprise opportunity to join the NASA space team. This film stars Roberts, Poppy Liu, Gabrielle Union, Kuhoo Verma, Desi Lydic, Tom Hopper, Sebastian Yatra, Sam Robards, Yasha Jackson, Deve Foley, Andrew Call, Troy Iwata, and Josephine Huang. 

Who is Rex, and what does she want from her life?

Rex Simpson (Emma Roberts) is a 20-something woman from Florida who likes to party and works as a bartender. As a kid, she was interested in science and dreamed of being an astronaut. But with just a high-school education and no relevant work experience, she couldn’t fulfill her wishes. So, she spends time hanging out with her friend, Nadine Cai (Poppy Liu), and helping her dad, Calvin (Sam Robards), in his trick tourism activities. During a school reunion, she bumps into her old crush, Toddrick Spencer (Sebastián Yatra), and admires what he has achieved in his life.

Toddrick claims Rex is the driving force behind his success. Her interest in space science made him pursue this path. After meeting him, she gets inspired and decides to apply for the NASA Astronaut space program. But she realizes she doesn’t have the necessary qualifications to enter into it. Outside her window, she notices a crescent moon. It reminds her of the pursuit of out-of-the-box thinking. She recalls how her mother led her to be interested in it. That night, she starts hallucinating, thinking of her long-term dream.  

How does Rex end up in the NASA program? 

Nadine finds a letter Rex wrote as a child addressing her ambition. She makes a few changes and sends it as Rex’s NASA program application. At the Johnson Space Centre, Logan (Tom Hopper), Pam (Gabrielle Union), and Rudolph (Dave Foley) go through their list of candidates. While Logan and Rudolph look for conventionally qualified applicants, Pam gets interested in enlisting Rex. In Rex’s application, Nadine claims that Rex has built a series of gates in the canal in her backyard to protect the manatees from being mowed by speedboats. She also says Rex is an engineer who started working in marine biology. 

Back in Florida, Rex works with her dad, tricking tourists into entering a fake haunted house. Midway, she receives a call from Logan, who claims to be from NASA. Initially, Rex doesn’t believe it. But soon after, she realizes the truth and heads to Houston. Unlike other aspirants, Rex is much more lively and playful. It irritates Dr. Stacy Kellogg (Desi Lydic), who thinks Rex is a fraud who scammed her way into this program. Regardless, Rex joins others with her energy and enthusiasm. She meets her roommate, Violet Marie Vaslawski (Kuhoo Verma), a bright but anxious physicist. 

Pam Proctor (Gabrielle Union) and Logan (Tom Hopper) in SPACE CADET (2024) Photo Credit: Eric Liebowitz//Prime Video
Pam Proctor (Gabrielle Union) and Logan (Tom Hopper) in SPACE CADET (2024) Photo Credit: Eric Liebowitz//Prime Video

Does Rex go to the space?  

Unlike Rex, the other participants are qualified for the program. Be it Violet, Stacy, Grace (Yasha Jackson), Miriam (Josephine Huang), or Captain Jack (Andrew Call), they all have the necessary skills and more knowledge than her. So, Rex has a hard time keeping up with them. Soon after, she reads the application Nadine sent to notice the glaring discrepancies. But she decides to play into this con. While she speaks with Nadine about it, Violet overhears her. Therefore, Violet suggests helping Rex with brushing up her scientific knowledge if Rex helps her with the physical exams. Meanwhile, Nadine pretends to be all the people she put as points of reference for Rex.  

What happens between Rex & Logan?  

Slowly, with each other’s help, Rex & Violet both rise the ladder. But Violet gets out of the program due to some organisational issues. At a later date, Rex asks Logan to join her and other aspirants at a karaoke bar. Initially, Logan rejects that plan. But he shows up and sings with Rex, where she falls for him. Then, he takes Rex to a planetarium. Rex talks about the theory of energy. She says that her mother’s wish for her to achieve something will help her in fulfilling her goals. Later, during a team test with Stacy, Grace, Miriam, and Jack, Rex shows her leadership capabilities and impresses Pam & Logan. 

Space Cadet (2024) Movie Ending Explained:

Does Rex fulfill her dream of becoming an astronaut? 

During a call with Nadine, Logan realizes that Rex lied about her qualifications. As a result, Rex gets thrown out of the NASA program. So, she returns to Florida and starts living her usual life as a bartender. Soon after, her friends from the program enter the space. But they soon get stuck in space with no possible way to return. Out of nowhere, Rex comes up with a way to rescue them. She travels to Houston to speak with Pam & Logan. There, Rex suggests letting her go to space to fulfill her ambitious rescue mission. 

Logan doesn’t trust Rex’s proposed solution and is against letting her get into space after her fraudulent behavior. However, Rex convinces him & Pam. So, finally, Rex enters the space with Violet and safely rescues the crew of Stacy, Grace, Miriam, and Jack. Because of this successful mission, Rex fulfills her wish of becoming an astronaut. With Violet and Nadine, she begins her new venture. Besides fulfilling her professional goal, she also gets into a relationship with Logan. The other crew members also lead better lives after they reach Earth.  

The Final Word

At its core, “Space Cadet” is about dreaming big and trying to achieve those dreams no matter how unconventional or silly they seem. It also discusses the imposter syndrome – whether it comes from being told you’re a fraud or feeling like a fraud. But the script stays so lost in its narrative cliches that it never fully develops its themes. Besides, Emma Roberts doesn’t have the acting chops or the charisma to lead a film like her contemporaries in the industry. At times, her co-stars perform far better than her and steal the show. But her performance feels like a bland imitation of other similar performances. 

Read More: Everything Coming to Prime Video in July 2024

Space Cadet (2024) Movie Trailer: 

Space Cadet (2024) Movie Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes
Space Cadet (2024) Movie Cast: Emma Roberts, Poppy Liu, Gabrielle Union, Kuhoo Verma, Desi Lydic, Tom Hopper, Sebastian Yatra, Sam Robards, Yasha Jackson
Space Cadet (2024) Movie Release Date: 4th July 2024 | Genre: Comedy | Runtime: 1h 50m

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