Cadets, is similar to many Vice News documentaries in that it covers a subject that isn't often addressed in mainstream media, but affects the lives of many and is truly worth taking a deeper look into. While the films' exploration of the 46,000 children and teens between the ages of 12 - 18 who are members of the UK's Army Cadet Force isn't extreme, the film is no less thought provoking, and the three years that are condensed into roughly 45 minutes for the film provides many answers to enduring questions that exist on patriotism, propaganda, and where the lines can and often do blur.
The Army Cadet force in the UK is a youth organization with direct ties to the actual military, much like ROTC programs in United States. The youth being followed throughout the film list reasons related to patriotism, familial links, and shared experiences when speaking on why they've joined the cadet forces, and why they enjoy it.
Throughout the film we are offered a chance to see young boys and girls receiving weapons training, rising through the ranks, and talking about a variety of subjects ranging from guns to unicorns. We also see the many ways they receive incentives to remain cadets and to join the British Army once they are of age.
13 year old George is the first child to express that he isn't completely happy within the organization, but certainly not the last. As Cadets goes on, we see how attitudes change as well as how aging teenagers, although they grow cynical of their own reasons for continuing with the program, continue to feel a sense of both dedication and responsibility to the Army Cadet Force.
Other cadets followed throughout the film include twins Jonathan and Edward (collectively known as "Jedward"), and recent member Teddy Bear, as the years go on and things change but tend to stay the same for the most part. Similar to the way things go in most areas of our lives.