A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Dude Perfect: Backstage Pass is an original YouTube documentary starring one of the site's most popular teams. The five young men who make up Dude Perfect go all out to challenge themselves, have fun, and share their enterprising, bold skills with eager young fans. Expect outrageous athletic challenges (e.g., basketball shots from sky to hoop), daring competitions between members of the team, and slapstick comedy. The movie follows the "Dudes" on a well-attended 21-city tour across the United States, where they perform some of their most popular YouTube videos adapted for the stage. Along with amazing athletic achievements, there's plenty of comic mayhem. For example, "Ned Forrester the Rage Monster" flies into uncontrollable comic temper tantrums, destroying everything in his path, and one member breaks a guitar over the back of another -- but it's all in fun. Some of the group's stunts probably deserve the standard cautionary note: "Don't try this at home." The movie also serves to promote the growing Dude Perfect brand: videos, toys, sports equipment, and other merchandise.
What's the story?
DUDE PERFECT: BACKSTAGE PASS follows five BFFs on a 21-city tour in which they entertain their gigantic fan base (50+ million followers) with the stunts, tricks, pranks, cheers, and laughs they're famous for. In addition to portions of the stage shows (which include many popular features from their YouTube shows, such as "Wheel of Misfortune" and "Overtime"), the movie incorporates video clips, an amiable look at their personal lives, an intro to their impressive charitable commitment, and a bit of their history. Coby Cotton, Cory Cotton, Garrett Hilbert, Cody Jones, and Tyler Toney met at Texas A&M University, roomed together, had fun -- shooting basketballs into hoops blindfolded, from astounding distances, from mountain tops, from the sky -- and pranked each other. Outlandish competitions were frequent. To their delight, the hijinks continued after college as they started jobs, marriage, and "real life." But only for so long. The brotherhood decided to take a life-changing risk by turning their unorthodox lifestyles into a joint career, giving up their day jobs in the process. Thus, Dude Perfect was created. Celebrity fans like Drew Brees, Paul Rudd, and Russell Wilson make cameo appearances.
Is it any good?
With their big smiles, good-natured rivalry, and honest intent to entertain exuberant fans, these five "semi-brothers" successfully make the move from the web to live shows. Dude Perfect: Backstage Pass and the Dude Perfect franchise itself are examples of what happens when buddies decide they want to spend the rest of their lives having fun with their best friends. The concept is the best testament to the "let's-put-on-a-show" mantra and the "Peter Pan" syndrome, with bonuses of maturity, solid business skills, and plenty of practice. In addition to friendship, these men are bonded by shared religious faith and a desire to spend some of their good fortune on others. Their stated goal is to provide entertainment that families can watch together. In their words, they "take full responsibility for what the kids take away." This movie is bound to delight old fans and make a whole lot of new ones.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about "cross-marketing" in the media as it applies to Dude Perfect: Backstage Pass. Why is it important to know how movies, social media, merchandise, and concert appearances are interconnected? How does each promote the others? How does your family deal with the onslaught of consumerism found in popular franchises?
In addition to being talented athletes and comics, the Dude Perfect team members want to be good role models for kids. What character strengths (e.g., compassion, courage, integrity) describe the young men? Pick one member of the team specifically and talk about his personal strengths.
One of the Dude Perfect members states, "We take full responsibility for what the kids take away." What does this mean? What makes that intention especially valuable for families?
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