By Grace Montgomery,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Bizarre animated tale has some violence, lots of fart jokes.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Introduces viewers to Jules Verne stories, though very superficially.
Using a gun is never a good way to solve problems. Don't get so wrapped up in yourself that you forget to take care of others. The movie encourages a love of books, science fiction in particular. But also lots of condescending comments and jokes about being overweight.
Positive Role Models
The Freedom Force team works together and looks out for one another.
Violence & Scariness
The bad guy has a gun and points it at the kids. Nicole uses martial arts to fight off attackers. Marauders chase after them with swords. A thug head-butts Nicole, then tries to kill her by tying a weight to her feet and dropping her in the water. Government planes shoot missiles at a giant squid.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Peter and Nicole have crushes on each other and share longing glances. Talk about Jules Verne loving his first cousin. Nicole wears a sports bra while working out, and the First Lady wears a bikini.
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No bad language but lots of potty humor. One character's horrible gas is a recurring plot point.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
The First Lady drinks champagne. A joke mentions a chicken needing a drink.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Freedom Force is a Peruvian animated kids' movie (also known as Fantastic Force and The Illusionauts) that has been overdubbed in English. This high-action adventure tale explores the works of Jules Verne and has quite a bit of suspense and violence. There are many close calls with bad guys, angry lions, a giant squid, and more, with lots of martial-arts moves (and farts) used in defense. There's also a ton of potty humor, with gas being used as a central plot point and many references made to poop.
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What's the Story?
Someone has a grudge against Jules Verne and is systematically scrambling his characters and plot points to ruin his novels just in time for Jules Verne Day. With the President furious, the Professor (Christopher Lloyd) sends a troop of gifted kids into Verne's novels using his invention called the Imaginarium. Each kid has something in common with Jules Verne (including a horrible case of flatulence), which will help him or her enter his imagination. But with only 48 hours to reset the stories and a menacing thug on their trail, it's only together that they can find each reset button and set things right before the changes are permanent.
Is It Any Good?
Watching this horribly executed film will make you wish you could hit your own reset button. Although it has an incredibly clever plot, some cool gadgets, and some great actors voicing some of the characters (Sarah Michelle Geller and Christopher Lloyd), FREEDOM FORCE badly misses the mark. Although everyone talks a lot about Jules Verne, you're only given the most minor details of the plots of any of the stories featured. Instead, a lot of time is taken up focusing on Profiterole's horrible gas and how it can be used to save the day. The subject matter being borrowed from is so rich (Journeys to the moon! Giant squid! Submarines! And more!), but the character development is weak, and too much time is spent on slapstick and gross-out humor. The dialogue is also often really awkward, but some of that may be due to it being overdubbed. It's such a shame, because with some better dialogue and a slightly stronger plot, this could have been a great way to get kids interested in science fiction.
Kids will no doubt be entertained by the gadgets -- and the gross-out humor. But you'd probably be better off doing a double feature of Spy Kids and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea instead.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about Jules Verne, who is considered by many to be the father of science fiction. How much do you know about Jules Verne? Have you read any of his books?
Why do you think Jules Verne's novels and story lines are still so popular? What makes them so compelling?
Freedom Force uses a lot of potty humor. Why do you think the film's creators chose to use so much of it? Why is potty humor funny to many people but not to others?
- On DVD or streaming: March 4, 2014
- Cast: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Christopher Lloyd
- Director: Eduardo Schuldt
- Studio: Vertical Entertainment
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Run time: 82 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG
- Last updated: December 6, 2022
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