A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that The Rainbow Tribe is a summer camp dramedy filled with potty humor and inappropriate behavior. In the first five minutes of the film, a boy wakes up in his underwear, scratches his backside, passes gas on his dog, shoves his brother's head in a toilet, and whips him with a towel in the crotch, causing the little brother to fall to the floor writhing in agony. The behavior doesn't improve in the following 85 minutes. The drama aspect of the movie centers on a middle-aged man sick with cancer who returns to the summer camp of his youth to find peace, but this story is overwhelmed by the awful shenanigans of the unlikable camp kids.
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What's the story?
Morgan Roberts, aka "Chief" (David James Elliott), is a middle-aged man sick from cancer. In the hopes of returning to a happier time and place, he goes back to the summer camp of his youth, where he will work as a camp counselor. He renews his friendship with childhood camp friend Sunny (Ed Quinn) and looks forward to a tranquil summer of counseling by day, then staring at the Northern Lights by night. Instead, what he gets is the ragtag obnoxious kids of Camp Apache, an out-of-control bunch who would rather pass gas and start food fights than ride in canoes or sing campfire songs. As Chief learns to tame this wild bunch, he grows to like them, and as he teaches them, he finds that they are teaching him about life, growing up, and growing old.
Is it any good?
The problem with THE RAINBOW TRIBE is that it's trying to be both a drama and a comedy, and fails at both. While Chief returns to the summer camp of his childhood to try and make sense of his life at middle-age while he struggles against cancer, you're more inclined to feel sorry for him because he has to deal with such obnoxious and unlikable boys. The serious message of the film is easily overwhelmed by the immature hijinks of the tween boy campers as they wedgie, pass gas, and make one inappropriate reference after another.
Amidst the Rich Kid, the Tough Kid, the Obnoxious Brat, the Hippie Kid, the Asthmatic Kid, and the Silent Kid, only the Silent Kid is the least bit likeable, and that's because he doesn't say anything until, predictably, the end of the movie. The rest of the kids epitomize the term "bad role models," and their actions will fill impressionable tweens and younger kids with iffy ideas and inappropriate jokes to carry them into puberty.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about role models. Does watching characters behave poorly have an influence on you?
How does this film compare with other movies set in summer camps?
How do the different boys in Camp Apache stand apart from one another? What are their different personality traits, and how are they brought to life through their actions? Do you notice any stereotypes?
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