A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Action Point is a largely 1970s-set comedy starring Johnny Knoxville that includes some of his Jackass-style humor. You'll see lots of extremely dangerous-looking stunts and pratfalls, as well as punching, hitting, and injuries. There are also images of full-frontal male nudity, plus sex scenes played for humor, a naked male bottom, and plenty of sex-related and/or gross-out humor. There's a bit of flirting, some of it inappropriate. Language is very strong, with frequent use of "f--k," "s--t," "c--k," and tons of other words. A key adult character is constantly drinking beer, with no apparent consequence. Teens also smoke and drink -- one vomits after drinking a beer -- and there is a joke about cocaine being in the cotton candy. A character pops prescription pills. Overall, the movie is likable and sometimes funny, but the material is very mature, and there are no real messages or role models to be found.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
In ACTION POINT, old man D.C. (Johnny Knoxville) babysits his granddaughter and tells her the story of the time, in the late 1970s, that he ran the most epic theme park in history. Flashbacks tell the story of Action Point's last summer, which featured a visit from D.C.'s teen daughter, "Boogie" (Eleanor Worthington-Cox). It involves unsafe rides and plenty of fun, but D.C. and his crew of "s--tbirds" must step up their game when a bigger theme park opens nearby. D.C. decides to emphasize the "no rules" nature of his park, advertising that what you can't do at the competition, you can do at Action Point. His gambit works, but evil lawyers -- led by the smarmy Knoblach (Dan Bakkedahl) -- continue to try to shut him down. Plus, when D.C. forgets to take Boogie to see the Clash, he risks losing both the park and his daughter.
Is it any good?
As with Knoxville's surprisingly likable Bad Grandpa, this movie is appealing and often funny, in a reckless, naughty way. Set over the course of a late-1970s summer at a lakeside theme park, Action Point has the raucous, carefree feel of something like Meatballs, Adventureland, or Wet Hot American Summer, only edgier (and, unlike the latter, it's not an homage to anything). It has a plot, but half the point is to use the theme park to stage ridiculous, Jackass-style stunts and pranks, such as knocking Knoxville down a waterslide with a high-pressure hose and smashing him through a barn door with a catapult.
When the plot does kick in, it's hard not to care at least a little bit about the touching, slightly clueless relationship between father and daughter -- and about the fate of the ramshackle park, especially when loathsome, greedy lawyers and businessmen are the villains. The movie does play with the idea that this 1970s "Wild West" ("people took responsibility for their own actions!") was preferable to today's more politically correct era. While one-sided, the argument at least offers an interesting discussion point. The vintage pop-punk songs are energetic, and the colorful, misfit supporting characters (the "s--tbirds") are fun (including Jackass veteran Chris Pontius) and lovably goofy. And the ending, more chaos than victory, is entirely appropriate.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Action Point's violence. When is it funny, and when does it cross the line? Who determines where "the line" is?
This movie doesn't have the usual Jackass disclaimer about not trying these stunts at home. Do you think that means these jokes, pranks, and stunts are any safer to try?
What does D.C. mean when he talks about characters taking responsibility for their own actions versus the age of "helicopter parenting," etc.? Do you agree with him? What are some arguments against this?
How is sex portrayed? Is it treated seriously or as a joke? Which values are imparted?
- In theaters: June 1, 2018
- On DVD or streaming: August 21, 2018
- Cast: Johnny Knoxville, Chris Pontius, Eleanor Worthington-Cox
- Director: Tim Kirkby
- Studio: Paramount Pictures
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 85 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: crude sexual content, language, drug use, teen drinking, and brief graphic nudity
- Last updated: November 11, 2020
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