By Danny Brogan,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Action-packed thriller has bloody violence, strong language.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Few positive messages with violence being met with violence. But compassion and care is shown by some.
Positive Role Models
Ex-soldier Knox is a trained killer and is quick to use violence to settle disputes. But he also has a caring side, particularly when it comes to Danni, who he is very protective of. Danni is a rebellious teen who disobeys and argues with her mother, and is seen drinking underage. But she also shows courage. Faisal is good natured, funny, and surprises himself by showing bravery. He keeps a cool head when faced with racism and is quick-witted when dealing with a potential catastrophe. The terrorists are all from a fictitious Russian state. They are shown to be cold and ruthless, with little regard for life. One of the terrorists is female, and she is shown to be just as competent -- and dangerous -- as her fellow male terrorists. Some of the soccer fans are portrayed as being racist and violent, which plays up to some stereotypes.
Violence & Scariness
Violence plays a central role throughout with a very high kill count. Explosions, guns (pistols and automatic weapons), knives, and close hand-to-hand combat results in multiple deaths and bloody injuries. Character is deliberately hit with a van. Fingers are chopped off, faces are held to stoves and in deep fryers -- their burnt face is shown close up -- and someone is impaled after falling from a great height. Characters are shot in the head and neck, stabbed, and sliced. One character is hung upside down and stabbed repeatedly in both thighs forcing them to disclose information. During multiple fight scenes, there is punching, kicking, headbutting, and body slamming. Various objects such as poles and fire extinguishers are also used as weapons. One character catches on fire and dies as a result. Characters are shot from a helicopter, and news coverage shows tanks firing missiles and buildings on fire. One character shoots themselves in the mouth killing them instantly. A dead body is thrown off a building. A large explosion takes places. A South Asian character pretends to have a bomb, which causes mass panic. But their motives are actually to save people. A teen hits another teen in the face and knees them in the groin after they make unwanted sexual advances. Police officers are assaulted and killed, and one is told their family will be hurt if they don't obey orders. People are executed on live TV. Several references to the death of a parent.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Brief passionate kiss between adults. Some teen flirting that leads to an aggressive encounter. Character is seen naked from the waist up in the shower.
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Language includes "f--king," "flipping heck," "f--k," "s--t," "bitch," "a--holes," "d--k," "s--tter," "s--tting," "idiot," "goddamn," "damn," "dammit," "bastard," and "hell yeah." "Christ" is also used as an exclamation. The British slang term "tosser" is also used, as is the racist slur "Paki." Character makes a sexual comment about someone being "well up for it" and later calls them a "teasing slag." A photo of a character showing the middle finger is shown.
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Products & Purchases
Mobile phones are often used and a comment is made about a character always been on theirs. Reference to a well known video game franchise. The movie is set at the stadium of a real-life English soccer team and fans are seen wearing replica shirts and scarves.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Character orders and drinks a pint of beer in a pub. Characters live in a pub. Two teens take a drink from a bottle of spirits. Reference to smoking, but in the context that a teenage character shouldn't smoke.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Final Score is an action-packed thriller that's full of bloody violence, multiple deaths, and strong language throughout. When former U.S. soldier, Michael Knox (Dave Bautista) takes his 15-year-old niece, Danni (Lara Peake), to a soccer match in London, they find themselves caught up in a terrorist plot to blow up the stadium. The action is non-stop and involves gun and knife fights -- often with graphic detail -- punching, kicking, and headbutting. Characters have their fingers sliced off, are shot in the head and neck, and have their faces held down on stoves and in deep fryers. Killings are frequent and without consequence, and there are a number of explosions, including one large-scale one. There is also a brief torture scene that involve someone being held upside down and stabbed in both thighs. One character shoots themselves in the mouth. Frequent strong language includes variants of "f--k," and there is some racism including use of the British slur "Paki." A South Asian character plays on racist assumptions by pretending to be a suicide bomber in order to save people from an actual bomb. Danni is caught up in much of the violence and also swears regularly. She is also seen drinking underage. When someone she knows makes unwanted sexual advances toward her, she fights them off with ease. Due to the violence and strong language, this no holds barred movie is only intended for older teens and above.
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What's the Story?
FINAL SCORE finds former U.S. soldier Michael Knox (Dave Bautista) visiting his 15-year-old niece, Danni (Lara Peake), in London, England. When Knox takes Danni to a soccer game, the pair get caught up in a dangerous terrorist plot, with Knox needing all of his military expertize to save the day.
Is It Any Good?
Cliched dialogue, so many plot holes that it barely holds together, and, yet, thanks largely to Bautista, there's no denying the entertainment value of this action-packed thriller. Directed by Scott Mann, Final Score bears more than a passing resemblance to Die Hard. In fact, in one scene, Bautista's character -- an ex-solider caught in the middle of a terrorist operation, but determined to protect his dead buddy's daughter -- throws a body off a roof in a bid to get the attention of the police. Add to that a comedy pairing with unprepared steward, Faisal (Amit Shah), and a close combat fight in a lift (see Die Hard: With a Vengeance), to name just two, and you'll be forgiven for thinking this all seems somewhat familiar.
Why Final Score gets away with this, is that it never takes itself too seriously. Indeed it plays like a celebration or tribute to those movies which proceeded it. By setting the action in England, Bautista also gets to have fun with the fish out of water premise, albeit he's a fish with muscles on muscles. Some of the lines are so bad that they are laugh out loud funny. When a British police chief punches an American agent in the face for calling "football" "soccer," you're left with little choice but to just roll with it. If you're in the mood for some no-nonsense action, which doesn't require too much thought, then this might just be the result you're looking for.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about Final Score's violence. How did it make you feel? Was it thrilling or shocking? Are there any consequences? Why is that important?
Discuss the strong language used in the movie. Did it seem necessary or excessive? What did it contribute to the movie?
Did the movie remind you of any other movies? If so, which ones? What is the appeal of action films like this?
- In theaters: September 14, 2018
- On DVD or streaming: September 14, 2018
- Cast: Dave Bautista, Ray Stevenson, Pierce Brosnan
- Director: Scott Mann
- Studio: Saban Films
- Genre: Action/Adventure
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts
- Run time: 104 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: strong violence and language throughout
- Last updated: April 2, 2023
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