Parents' Guide to


By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

War violence abounds in so-so Malaysian action movie.

Movie NR 2019 115 minutes
Paskal Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 1 parent review

age 16+

Worth the time on a lazy COVID day

It is reminiscent of 80-90’s military action flicks. That is fine with me. I enjoy this genre as some enjoy Japanese monsters or Kung Fu movies. Less than moderate violence. Film depicts heroism and the “good guys win.” I would allow a mature 14 y/o to watch. Otherwise 16 would be lower limit. I am white US citizen, 71 y/o, ex-military (1968-1972) served as Corpsman with US Marines Vietnam. I loved that this story takes place it in a country other than the United States. We tend to believe: 1. Only Americans are brave and heroic. 2. Only Americans have really well trained tough as hell Special Forces. 3. Only Americans save their brothers by giving their life (soldiers falls on grenade). 4. Only America has the technical and tactical knowledge to neutralize a threat. 5. Only America has a functional Navy and patrol their boundaries with modern submarines. Yes. It is a diesel. But more countries use diesel subs than nuclear subs. They are very deadly vessels with well trained personnel. 6. And finally, we believe only America can produce a movie with solid acting, a believable plot, and great special effects. A side benefit if you watch it with your child (or grandson); talk about the country of Malaysia, their language, their English connections, their geopolitical significance, their role in the worlds great conflicts etc., etc. There are many qualities in this film. It is definitely worth the time on a lazy COVID afternoon.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1):
Kids say: Not yet rated

For better or worse, this film is reminiscent of the American war movies that were big when Ronald Reagan was president. Heroism, bravery, and valor win the day, but so do endless firefights, jingoistic machismo, and headbutts. There's a story happening between the action sequences, but it's so stock and trite, it's easy to pay more attention to the lengthy battles between the Special Forces and the ragtag evil pirates. An underlying theme is supposed to be about what the characters are faced with as individuals who choose to undergo the expected grueling training and the subsequent negative effect on their homelives, but it's hard to feel much emotional attachment when, for instance, one of the Special Forces operatives only stands out from the others because he is "a reader" -- he wears glasses and is shown reading a dogeared paperback of Pensées by (wait for it) Pascal. The other secondary characters are also cut from a similar "stock."

Nonetheless, for fans of the action/war genre, there are plenty of entertaining scenes, exciting chases, and interesting uses of military hardware. There's a clear attempt at a deeper meaning, but like most action movies, the themes in Paskal are easily lost in the turbulence of battle. The result is derivative bombast and worn out clichés.

Movie Details

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