Go Karts

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
Go Karts Movie Poster Image
Aussie underdog sports drama has mild swearing.
  • NR
  • 2020
  • 102 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Promotes teamwork, striving to achieve goals, good sportsmanship, controlling anger, and respecting others. Learning from mistakes is an important element. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Initially, teen hero has anger issues and little respect for the law. He reaches new levels of understanding about winning and losing, humility, hard work. Female is nontraditional auto mechanic who gains respect for her talent and determination. Stereotypical entitled teens are self-absorbed and mean-spirited bullies. Parental figures are either unselfish, reliable, and loving, or overbearing and aggressive. Ethnic diversity. 

Violence

Bullies torment, tease, threaten; one punches hero in stomach. A go-kart skids off the track and crashes (no one is injured).

Sex

A kiss.

Language

"Hell," "pissed off," "ass," "in the nuts."

Consumerism

Dunlop tires, Kincrome tools.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Go Karts (aka Go!) is an Australian movie about a teen finding both his true passion (go-karting) and a mentor who will teach him to drive his go-kart and live with honor. It's a familiar story, with many of the traditional underdog elements (e.g., an arrogant competitor to take on, a struggling single mom), plus bullying, matchmaking, and life-changing moments for everyone involved. In this film, go-kart competitions replace other sporting events as the key to growing up with solid values. A few curses are heard: "hell," "piss off," "ass," and "in the nuts." Mild action includes a go-kart accident that's momentarily suspenseful (no one is injured) and bullies who menace the heroes and throw one punch.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byLrmoro May 31, 2020

Karate-kid for pre-teens

It's a pretty mild attempt to remake The Karate Kid, with Australian Go Karters.

Though the story is predictable and the dialogue is bland, the racing act... Continue reading
Kid, 6 years old April 7, 2020

very cool movie for kids

i wid say 8 and up for this movie it is alot of rude stuff in it and alot of drama

What's the story?

Teen Jack Hooper (William Lodder) arrives in a new town still healing from the years-earlier death of his dad in GO KARTS. Jack tries hard to be supportive of his single mom, Christie (Frances O'Connor), who is trying to make a new life for herself and her son. However, he can't yet control the anger and disappointment he has faced in his young life. In the coastal town of Busselton, go-karting is an important sporting event. Jack, making his first new friend, Colin (Darius Amarfio Jefferson), at an impromptu party, gets a glimpse of the sport and is intrigued. Taking a spin in the go-kart amazes him; it's thrilling, it's fun, and he does it surprisingly well for a novice! In the under-16 competition in Busselton, Dean (Cooper van Grootel), an arrogant rich kid, seems to win every race. In thrall of his first ride, Jack decides to take Dean on, maybe all the way to the national competition. Jack soon realizes that he has much to learn and can't rely only on what may be a natural talent. Enter Patrick (Richard Roxburgh), a grizzled go-kart veteran with an unhappy past, and Mandy (Anastasia Bampos), an outstanding mechanic and Dean's sister. Working as a team, Jack, Patrick, Mandy, and Colin attempt what seems to be impossible, but they're determined. But so is Dean. With his bullying sidekicks as his "team," Dean is determined to override Jack's plan.

Is it any good?

It's a well-worn story: new kid in town, dead dad, ascending competitions to win, bullies, an unlikely girl, and a has-been pro to make him grow up, but oddly the actors and go-karts make it fun. Richard Roxburgh, an Australian treasure, breathes life into what might have been a stock character as Patrick. William Lodder as Jack is natural and engaging and has heartthrob potential. For a low-budget effort, the go-kart races are fine. Suspense is limited, however. Each race goes exactly as predicted -- even the one race that the filmmakers hoped would be a "twist." For kids who like underdog sports stories, especially ones that add a fresh dialect and new sport to the mix, Go Karts is wholesome if not inventive movie-making.  

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the positive aspects of seeing movies from other countries, especially for kids. What are some of those positives? In what ways did Go Karts enrich your awareness of Australian culture? How were the teens in Australia like the kids in your own community? What, if anything, besides their accents was different? 

  • Two themes pop up in lots of movies made for families and kids: losing a parent and moving to a new place. Do you think that using these elements makes the storyteller's job easier? Why or why not? How do those themes encourage audiences to feel sympathy for and root for the characters?

  • What does the word "mentor" mean? Who is the mentor in Go Karts? What does Jack learn from him? What does his mentor learn from Jack? Do you have a mentor in your life? Describe your relationship.

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love sports

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

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