A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser is a straight-to-streaming 2015 sequel to the 2001 movie about a down-on-his-luck, mullet-headed, Skynyrd-loving janitor. There's much more profanity in this sequel than the original; "f--k" and its variations are used, as are homophobic slurs made at Joe by his bullies. Characters talk about and then engage in shoving vodka-soaked tampons up their anuses. There also are jokes involving elongated testicles being stuck in an airplane bathroom, dogs humping every limb on Joe's body, and sight gags involving vomit. A teenager at a drive-in attempts to stick his penis inside a container of popcorn in the hopes that his girlfriend will touch it while reaching for the popcorn. Characters drink, smoke, and chew tobacco; there's a reference to heroin. Though it's a safe bet no one is expecting this sequel to be a cinematic masterpiece, it also just isn't that funny, and all the iffy behavior and language can't cover that up.
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What's the story?
In this sequel, Joe Dirt (David Spade) tells a woman sitting on a bus bench what has happened to him since the first movie. Joe is happy, living in a trailer with his wife Brandi (Brittany Daniel) and three kids. His luck takes a turn, however, when a tornado sends him back 50 years in time. He meets Brandi's mother as a teenager in 1965, as well as the father of one of his tormentors, and he also meets a teenage garage band that later will be called Lynyrd Skynyrd. After buying a set of comic books for spare change that he knows will be worth tens of thousands of dollars, Joe buries them and believes he's been sent back in time to change his fate and be what he believes will make him a better person: rich and successful. He later ends up in Miami circa 1977, where he re-meets a mobster who was good to him in the original movie (Christopher Walken) and with whom he makes a fortune by knowing the outcomes of various sporting events. Now rich and successful, Joe must find a way to get back to Silvertown when he first met Brandi to prove to her that he's no longer a "loser." However, fate has changed, and things are much different in Silvertown, thanks to Joe's changing of the past. Joe must learn that he was a good person all along and that that's more important than being rich.
Is it any good?
It's a safe bet that no one was expecting a sequel to Joe Dirt to be some kind of cinematic masterpiece, and it's not. But this movie should be considered a failure even for fans of the original Joe Dirt and of "mindless entertainment" movies in general. For starters, it's nearly one hour and 50 minutes long, and some viewers will find more entertainment in thinking about which scenes should have been cut or at least shortened. And, just as in the original, it's impossible to determine whether the audience is supposed to laugh at Joe Dirt or feel sorry for him, or both, or just laugh simply because a curse word is employed or there's a sight gag involving, say, dog testicles.
There's actually one hilarious scene: when Joe goes back in time to 1965 and meets a teenage Lynyrd Skynyrd, who are a garage band not called Lynyrd Skynyrd trying to come up with a better band name. (Spoiler alert: They brainstorm names that will later be the names of fey 1980s synth-pop bands.) But one funny scene is not enough to recommend this movie. Not even the eternal greatness of Christopher Walken can overcome how awful and pointless this movie is.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about sequels. Why are sequels made? Are they usually better or worse than the original movie?
What is the appeal of "gross-out" humor? Do you find it funny?
Why do you think David Spade and the filmmakers elected to send this movie straight to streaming rather than releasing it in a more traditional way?
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