A.R.C.H.I.E. 2: Mission Impawsible

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
A.R.C.H.I.E. 2: Mission Impawsible Movie Poster Image
Robotic talking dog joins a carnival; some potty language.
  • PG
  • 2018
  • 82 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Meant to entertain rather than educate.

Positive Messages

A person can be happy and sad at the same time. People continually strive for a "normal" life, but there are infinite varieties of "normal." Families come in all shapes and sizes.

Positive Role Models & Representations

A.R.C.H.I.E. is a loyal, caring, resourceful fellow. Carnival owner Max is an ideal parent: loving, committed, and generous. Villain is a conniving female; otherwise, limited female characters. No ethnic diversity.

Violence & Scariness

A robotic dog blows up off-camera. Slapstick action: falls, explosion from which character emerges with soot everywhere. 

Sexy Stuff

Fart, poop, and vomit jokes. "Crap" is heard multiple times. "Sniff another dog's butt." Some insults: "moron," "dumb."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that A.R.C.H.I.E. 2: Mission Impawsible is the DVD/streaming sequel to A.R.C.H.I.E. (2016). The movie stands on its own. The film easily wraps up any questions the original might have left. What remains is A.R.C.H.I.E. himself, a cybernetic organism (robotic) dog, once again voiced by Michael J. Fox, and his human, Paul. This story takes place in a carnival where A.R.C.H.I.E.'s special gifts reap rewards for some pretty desperate folks. The film's PG rating has been assigned for the multiple fart, poop, and barf jokes, as well as some occasional potty language like "crap" and "toots." Some insults are heard: "stupid," "moron," "dumb," and "smell my poo." A robotic dog blows up in the opening scenes, and a carnival would-be magician almost lights himself on fire. There's an off-camera explosion, and the magician appears covered in soot afterward. Otherwise, except for a few slapstick tumbles and scuffles, there's nothing scary for little kids.

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What's the story?

A carnival has come to the town in which A.R.C.H.I.E., a robotic talking dog (voiced by Michael J. Fox), lives with his people, Paul (Robin Dunne) and Sydney (Sheldon Bergstrom) in A.R.C.H.I.E. 2: MISSION IMPAWSIBLE. Sydney has always wanted to be a carnival performer, so he's excited about the opportunity to audition. Only problem is, Sydney doesn't really have any special talent. His tryout is awful. In a "stroke of genius," Sydney realizes he might be able to pretend that he's a ventriloquist, but he won't have a dummy, he'll work with A.R.C.H.I.E.! It works! Not only do the carnival owners Max (David Milchard) and his son Gregory (Will Mitchell) believe Sydney is a gifted artist, but his first few performances with A.R.C.H.I.E. result in big crowds. Since the carnival was near bankruptcy and now plays to sold-out houses every day, everyone's a winner. Of course, there's a catch. Standing in the way of complete success is a conniving villain who has been stealing money from the business, and who discovers Sydney's secret.

Is it any good?

The humor doesn't get any more low-brow than filthy carnival workers with food in their teeth, a female clown who's dumb as a post, and plenty of fart jokes to accompany a generic talking dog. Performances are uneven -- David Milchard is so good it feels like he's come in from another movie set. It's a colorful, good-natured movie that tries to deliver a few righteous messages (e.g., the carnival proudly announces that it would never force animals to work), and there's a solid father-son relationship. A silly story and ludicrous carnival with performers so bad they'd have to pay people to find an audience means there's little to recommend. But talking dogs, Michael J. Fox, and slapstick may be enough for undiscerning viewers. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how many movies use fart and poop jokes as a source of comedy. It's an easy way for storytellers and filmmakers to make sure there will be laughs. What is it about farts and poops that kids find so funny? Do you think it's because potty humor reminds us of our own embarrassment about bodily functions? 

  • A.R.C.H.I.E. 2: Mission Impawsible is a sequel. What is a "sequel"? If you didn't see the original movie, A.R.C.H.I.E., were you able to enjoy this one on its own? 

  • The movie asks the question "Can you be happy and sad at the same time?" What does this mean? Think of some times in your life you were both happy and sad. Be creative: Write a paragraph about that experience.

Movie details

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For kids who love animals

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