A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this movie attempts to find dark humor in the premise that murder is a convenient option for women who've been the victims of offensive male behavior. Most men are portrayed as empty-headed, leering sexual predators, while the women are either angrily amoral, wide-eyed victims, or both. Expect plenty of violence, including a car crashing and burning, a woman being pummeled by her husband, and a dentist stabbed by his assistant, though all are portrayed in a darkly comedic manner. Characters also swear ("f--k," "s--t," "whore," etc.) and smoke, and some drive drunk.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Soon after she loses her job and her boyfriend, a distraught Alexandra Case (Heather Graham) punches an obnoxious man in a department store. When she's ordered to attend an anger management class for her "crime," Alex meets a gaggle of misfit women with severe temper control problems of their own, including Kim (Joey Lauren Adams), a victim of spousal abuse. In trying to protect her, Alex, along with Stella (Jennifer Coolidge) and Nikki (Amber Heard) inadvertently cause the death of Kim's abusive husband. What begins as a tragic accident leads to new, very lucrative assignments for Stella's successful "pest" extermination business. But Alex is suspicious of her friends, and when she falls in love with one of the police detectives investigating the murders, she faces a terrible moral dilemma. Enter the IRS agent who's been stalking Alex; soon, literal mayhem ensues.
Is it any good?
Terminally slow-paced, unfunny, and cliche-ridden, EXTERMINATORS misses on almost every level. The sketchily drawn characters give the actors little to work with, and even the usually likeable Graham falls flat. It's a fantastical story, but it's delivered in charmless, clumsy fits and starts. Motivation and logic give way to happenstance and silly behavior. The film is risque without being sexy, comically exaggerated without being funny, and talky without being intelligent.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about stereotyping in movies. Most of the men in this film are portrayed as bumbling, mean, dishonest, or sexually obsessed. How does that differ from your experience with the men you know?
This film is categorized as a "black" comedy or "dark" comedy. What does this description tell you about what you can expect to see? What other black comedies have you enjoyed?
Did Alex actually learn anything about self-control in the anger management group she attended? What are some ways you've learned to deal with your own anger?