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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
It takes hard work and the right attitude to meet goals. Teamwork matters. Be willing to try new activities.
Positive Role Models
Hero learns value of doing the right thing, working as a team member, and committing to a project. Underdogs work together, maintain ethical standards, and succeed. One-dimensional villains: snobby, win-at-all-costs attitude (including cheating). Some stereotyping, i.e., ditzy blond; uncool but well-meaning parents. Ethnic diversity.
Violence & Scariness
Cartoonish action: falls, skateboard flips, candy explodes in soft drink, car chases kid on skateboard, chair collapses, an ATV accident, raft blows up. Tries for suspense when small child is in danger on a raft. No one is injured or hurt.
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Potty language and some insults: "farts," "peeing" "fish turds," "butt-face," "crap," "wussbag." Belches and farts. A silly "sculpture" of a human rear-end.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Malibu Rescue: The Movie is the pilot (or prequel) to the eight-episode Netflix series Malibu Rescue, intended for tween audiences. Four high-schoolers from Los Angeles's San Fernando Valley strive to become a part of a summer Junior Rescue Program on Malibu Beach. They're met with resistance from the snobby Malibu teens who don't want to accept the "non-beach-city" outsiders into what has been a stronghold for the upscale coastal kids. The familiar "underdog" movie is family-friendly with low-brow humor, some potty language and mild swearing (i.e., pee jokes, fart sounds, belching, references to puking, "crap"), along with some insults: "butt-face," "wussbag," "fish turds." With the exception of one slightly suspenseful rescue sequence in which a child alone on a raft appears to be headed toward danger, the action is slapstick (falls, candy exploding in a soft drink, a chair collapses, a car chase). No one is hurt. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The fact that the movie is brimming with cornball jokes, predictability, cartoon pratfalls, and one-dimensional characters doesn't mean that tweens won't like it; actually, most will. It's easy to root for Tyler and his fellow "Flounders," those put-upon kids from the Valley who are looking for both validation and a place at the rescuers table. Other than potty humor and some name-calling, it's inoffensive. The good guys are likable. The acting is purposefully broad -- especially the adults. And, though it has zero surprises, no nuance, and no shining moments, Malibu Rescue: The Movie is a comfortable and clear setup for the Netflix summer series that follows.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.