Luke and Lucy: The Texas Rangers

  • Review Date: February 20, 2013
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 88 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Wild West shoot-'em-up with drinking and a suggestive scene.
  • Review Date: February 20, 2013
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Action/Adventure
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 88 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Highlights teamwork that helps rescue a stranger in trouble who crosses the kids' path by accident.

Positive role models

Luke and Lucy are loyal friends. Sybil and Ambrose are dependable adults.

Violence

Full of cartoony, shoot-em-up violence typical of a Wild West romp. In multiple scenes, guns are drawn for duels, shoot-outs abound, heads are thunked with empty beer bottles, and plenty of scenes turn to brawling fisticuffs. There's no blood, but the raucous roughness is a sustained part of the action. Evil Jim Parasite -- a kind of robot steampunk cowboy -- is also a menacing figure.

Sex

In one prominent scene, a Jessica Rabbit style female crooner -- replete in sexually suggestive red evening gown -- performs a tune called "I'm a Bad Girl" in a saloon while male onlookers drool. She teases the crowd and caresses a man's chest. Elsewhere, the movie has some light flirting between male and female adult characters and an instance of a kid swooning over an older woman, and several instances of grown men acting smitten with female characters.

Language

The movie contains a bit of swearing throughout, such as the expression "Damn damn damn" uttered multiple times.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

The bottling of Texas Whiskey is a major plot-driver in this film set primarily in the Wild West, and as such, many scenes occur in saloons, showing characters drinking beers or whiskey. In one scene, bottles of whiskey are used in a brawl to hit characters over the head.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Luke and Lucy: Texas Ranger is a CGI Wild West shoot-em-up that, while clever and suspenseful overall, involves sustained cartoony violence and gun use, and one sexually suggestive scene involving a scantily clad female singer cooing and caressing a male audience while she delivers a tune about being a "bad girl." The scene feels drop-shipped into the middle of an otherwise family-styled adventure that features two kids as major characters in the action and seems to be targeting a younger age group. Furthermore, the film features some heavy-handed gender stereotypes, and a Mexican character who won't be winning any awards for political correctness. The outmoded feel and mixed-up age-appropriateness may be due to the picture's adaptation from the Belgian comic book (know as Spike and Suzy overseas), that first appeared in 1945.

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What's the story?

When the evil Jim Parasite (voiced by Billy Ray Cyrus) starts shrinking Texas Rangers as part of his greedy plot for world domination, Luke, Lucy and pals must travel to Dark City, Texas to help restore order. Along the way, they battle cowboys and unravel the plot to take over the world, one suspicious character at a time.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Luke and Lucy: Texas Rangers has its moments in offbeat laughs and silly antics, but those OK-for-a-7-year-old moments in this animated film are marred by some inexplicable adult references, sustained gunslinging, and more than one off-color stereotype than doesn't make sense for a movie featuring kids as its main action heroes. Though it's tough to guess how old Luke and Lucy are -- they play video games, but Lucy still carries a doll -- it's offputting to watch them show their way around an interrogation room so naturally, fish a gun out of a bad guy's back pocket and turn it on him, or visit a seedy bar with a neon pink sign for a sex club called Eros blinking outside in the background. But when they all waltz into a bar to watch a voluptous lady coo a two-minute tune about what a bad girl she is, figurng out what movie you're trapped in gets genuinely confusing. This may make sense if your kids are familiar with the Belgian Spike and Suzy comic books, upon which this movie is based, but their debut in 1945 makes that unlikely.

For older kids, the shoot-em-up western action and steampunky cowboy robot Jim Parasite make for an entertaining video game come to life, and parents may enjoy the jokes and brief bullet-dodging Matrix moment. The cowboys are fun and the shrink-your-way-to-world-domination is a clever thread. And while explaining the Mexican stereotype and all the machismo might make for an educational moment, if you're looking for an all-ages adventure without all the baggage, keep looking.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how women are portrayed in media. What are the characteristics of the girls and women in this movie? Why are women in movies so often in need of rescue? Can you think of women you know in occupations that save lives?

  • Have you ever visited a ghost town? Visit the library or go online to read about historically accurate towns in the Wild West.

  • What kind of racial stereotypes appear in this movie? What is the problem with using stereotypes?

Movie details

DVD release date:February 22, 2011
Cast:Billy Ray Cyrus
Directors:Mark Mertens, Wim Bien
Studio:Phase 4 Films
Genre:Action/Adventure
Topics:Magic and fantasy
Run time:88 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:language, action and some suggestive content

This review of Luke and Lucy: The Texas Rangers was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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