Parents' Guide to

Ping Pong Summer

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Summer coming-of-age tale is high on nostalgia, low on plot.

Movie NR 2014 91 minutes
Ping Pong Summer Poster Image

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

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Kids say (4):

PING PONG SUMMER is so earnest that it feels wrong to judge it too harshly. It doesn't have much of a plot, and it's more of a nostalgic experience for fortysomethings who grew up in the '80s than a movie to which current teens can relate. With its Karate Kid -meets-Dodgeball-via-The Way Way Back elements, the movie has familiar and endearing moments, but it's too slow and forgettable to be on par with any of those other films.

The movie's missed opportunities include everything from Rad's unexplored background -- he's got a Scottish dad (John Hannah) and Southern mom (Lea Thompson, herself a veteran of iconic '80s movies like Some Kind of Wonderful and Back to the Future) to his underused sister to his predictable meet-up with eccentric neighbor Randi Jammer (Susan Sarandon). Despite the sincere performances, there's a lot to be desired in the story development. But for those looking for a nostalgic cinematic trip back to the '80s or viewers who grew up going to beach towns for summer vacation, Ping Pong Summer could be a temporarily amusing "I remember when" diversion.

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