A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the title's Adventure Boyz are two British school-age kids who become enmeshed in the aftermath of a diamond heist committed by the world's least competent thieves. The boys evade both the criminals and the police using skills taught them by their father, a fitness buff who insisted they get out of the house and away from their electronic devices. The movie's takeaway is that kids should be outdoors having adventures in the fresh air, not couch potatoes living vicariously through their phones and tablets. Criminals and police chase two young boys. A bad guy grabs a little boy and threatens to snap his neck. Thieves kidnap a shop owner and hold him against his will. The protagonists are around 8, making this of interest to younger kids, but the criminals and police do mildly raise the tension and scare factor in several scenes.
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What's the story?
In ADVENTURE BOYZ, inept thieves are thwarted in their 50-million-pound diamond heist by two school-age brothers (Rory and Felix Ford) who happen upon the stash that's been inexplicably left in an old bunker out in the British countryside. The boys stumble on the treasure while tooling around on their bikes, as per the advice of Mike (director Howard J. Ford), their dirt bike-racing dad. A fitness buff, he's desperate to get them away from devices and screens and into the outdoors breathing fresh air. When the thieves figure out the boys have taken the diamonds to their home, they tip the police. The authorities find the diamonds and wrongfully arrest Mike, leaving the boys to run from the police and use their survival skills until they hatch a plan to ensnare the criminals and get their dad released. In the meantime, their mom (Angela Dixon) is away in New York, in protest of Mike's dangerous racing career. When she hears Mike is in jail, she hops on a plane and arrives in England just in time for his release and triumph at his last bike race.
Is it any good?
This movie features its director as Mike and what seem to be his two actual sons as the title's boys, which may be why this feels like such an insipid vanity home movie. The plot often makes no sense. Why do thieves leave 50 million in stolen diamonds outdoors? Why would the chief thief kidnap a shop owner and then run the shop as if it were his own? Wouldn't anyone in the tiny village notice?
There's no argument about Adventure Boyz having its heart in the right place, with a fit and healthy dad advocating that his boys eat well, get exercise in the great outdoors, and avoid electronic devices. But good intentions don't make a movie great. When the boys try to booby-trap the house in case the thieves come after them, a Home Alone rip-off alert should go off. Nothing here would be objectionable for young kids to watch, but note that the older the kids in the audience, the higher the chances they'll find this uninteresting.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how important it is for children to be active rather than sedentary. What are some things you like to do that keep you active?
Sometimes it's easy to ignore our parents' advice. How did the Adventure Boyz use things their father taught them to outsmart the criminals and police?
Does this story seem realistic and scary, or do you think the silliness of the criminals tells us not to take the conflicts too seriously? Why?
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