A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Meant to entertain rather than educate.
Never give up.
Positive Role Models
The two kids who must fend for themselves in the wilds of Africa display resourcefulness in the face of so many dangers.
Violence & Scariness
Frequent peril. Two kids, a dog, and an adult pilot are shot down in "southern Africa" by rebels. The plane crashes and the pilot is knocked unconscious. The two kids and the dog venture off in the hopes of finding people who might rescue them Along the way, they pass out from lack of water, face off against a lion, a hyena, an angry elephant, and are nearly trampled by a dazzle of zebras. The boy falls through the planks of a treacherous bridge and hangs suspended while a crocodile emerges from the waters below and tries to bite him. Meanwhile, the dog, Chinook, outruns a cheetah and kills a cobra that tries to bite him.
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The two tween siblings, a brother and sister, engage in childish insults; the sister calls the brother a "dweeb."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Against the Wild 2: Survive the Serengeti is a 2016 adventure movie in which a brother and sister must survive the wilds of Africa with a dog after their plane crashes. There's constant peril in this movie, beginning with a scene in which the small plane the kids and the dog are flying in gets shot down by rebels, leaving the pilot immobile and in and out of consciousness, and leaving the kids to venture off and fend for themselves while trying to find help. Along this journey, the kids contend with a lion, a zebra stampede, an angry elephant, and pass out from exhaustion due to lack of water (before a rainstorm conveniently arrives). For his part, the dog, Chinook, is believed to be dead by the kids after the zebra stampede separates them, and he takes on a cobra and runs away from a cheetah before rescuing the boy after the boy falls through the planks of a treacherous bridge across waters that are the home to a ravenous crocodile. The kids are shown cut up in the face, bruised, and dirty, but, on a positive note, display admirable resourcefulness when faced with these difficulties. This is a sequel to 2014's Against the Wild, and while not directly related, the story in this sequel is pretty much the same as the first movie, merely substituting the Serengeti and a small aircraft for the Canadian wilderness and a motorboat from the first movie. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is a ludicrous family adventure movie with unintentionally hilarious dialogue. Against the Wild 2: Survive the Serengeti is a sequel that is pretty much the same story as the original Against the Wild, only substituting setting, different tween siblings, and the manner in which the kids get lost in the wilderness with Chinook, the Alaskan Malamute. In this movie, Chinook avoids a dazzle of zebras, a cheetah running at top speed, a hissing cobra, and a ravenous crocodile on the verge of eating Ryan. For their part, these kids, cut up and bruised and suffering dehydration-fueled mirages of their mother, take on hyenas, a lion, an angry elephant, and the aforementioned crocodile, prompting Ryan to exclaim somewhere around Act 3: "Africa has tried to kill us like fifty times!"
Perhaps the best that can be said about this is that the action, as ridiculous as it is, is reminiscent in mostly good ways of the old "cliffhanger" serials and movies from decades gone by that involved adventure and danger in the wilds of Africa, but without the blatant racism that also defined those serials and movies. Nonetheless, it's still not a great movie, and the dialogue includes some unintentionally hilarious moments. For instance, upon arriving in Africa, the mom, played by Jeri Ryan, informs all present that "I can't stand the thought of losing both our children!" in case you weren't sure of her motivations. Later, the dad wants his wife, the search parties, and the audience to know that "I won't give up. Not by a long shot!" It's unintended entertainment for what is otherwise an uninspired movie.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.