Revenge of the Nerds 2: Nerds in Paradise
By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Nerds triumph in '80s comedy; some sex, profanity, drugs.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
It's OK to be different. Guys who aren't conventionally good-looking or smooth-talking can still be great guys. Using one's brain is admirable. Alternately, violence works when everything else fails. What other people think about you doesn't matter. Don't change who you are just to be liked. Lots of stereotypes.
Positive Role Models
The nerds are loyal friends who stick together and treat others nicely. They're intellectually gifted but a little socially awkward and do their best to fit in and contribute. The members of the Alpha fraternity are self-centered, biased, and cruel and resort to deceit and kidnapping to try to rid themselves of the nerds. One nerd picks his nose vigorously and speaks often of "getting laid."
Violence & Scariness
Nerds are kidnapped and dumped on a deserted island. An amphibious military vehicle knocks down a hotel's walls and drives into a swimming pool. The nerds are arrested for car theft but were framed for the crime by rival fraternity members.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Young women wear bikinis. Women are briefly shown in a wet nightie contest, with nipples visible through fabric. A woman kisses a man, clothed. Women are sent to lure the nerds into seeming to steal a car. One nerd speaks often of "getting laid." Prostitutes are heard encouraging clients through closed motel doors. Men wish to know what women look like naked; one says he had a dream about naked women. A man jokes he has "crabs" (a sexually transmitted condition). A male character is seen from behind, peeing in a bathroom, while a scene goes on for several minutes.
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"F--k," "s--t," "ass," "pervert," "pansy," "butt," "homo," "coconuts" referring to breasts, "bite my crank," "screw up," "heck," "hock a loogey." A nerd refers to a VIP as a "very immense penis." A T-shirt reads, "Who Farted?" When the nerds believe a ritual involves sacrificing a virgin, they note that "a virgin is a terrible thing to waste." The nerds alter a neon hotel sign to read "hot oral sex." "You are thinking all right, just using the wrong head," is said in reference to a penis.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
College students drink beer, smoke cigarettes, and smoke marijuana that they find growing wild on a deserted island. A man smoking cigarettes appears to be strung out, but there's no sign of drugs.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that 1987's Revenge of the Nerds 2: Nerds in Paradise is rated PG-13, unlike the R-rated 1984 Revenge of the Nerds that spun this comedy off. Expect to see pot smoking, cigarette smoking, and some alcohol use and to hear the words "f--k," "s--t," "ass," "butt," "d--khead," and more. A male character is seen from behind, peeing in a bathroom while a scene goes on for several minutes. Girls are briefly shown in a wet nightie contest, with nipples visible through fabric. One nerd speaks often of "getting laid." Prostitutes are heard encouraging clients through closed motel doors. A man jokes he has "crabs." Nerds are kidnapped and dumped on a deserted island. The nerds are arrested for car theft but were framed for the crime by rival fraternity members. A nerd refers to a VIP as a "very immense penis." When the nerds believe a ritual involves sacrificing a virgin, they note that "a virgin is a terrible thing to waste." The nerds alter a neon hotel sign to read "hot oral sex."
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What's the Story?
The Tri-Lambdas, a college fraternity of super brains who mostly struggle with ordinary human social interaction, are heading to a South Florida beach fraternity meeting. They're bent on being accepted by the more conventional -- that is, dumber-- frat boys who tried so hard to eradicate them in the previous nerd movie. The Alphas put up roadblocks to the Lambdas' goal based on their narrow-minded prejudices against geeks. They cancel the nerds' hotel reservation. They create constitutional propositions designed to terminate the membership of the nerds' fraternity. They kidnap the nerds and drop them on a desert island. They conspire to have them arrested on false charges. As one might expect, the nerds manage to prevail.
Is It Any Good?
The basis of REVENGE OF THE NERDS 2: NERDS IN PARADISE is the juxtaposition of social cluelessness and super intelligence, and that premise is often amusing although not laugh-out-loud funny. The predictability of that cluelessness becomes repetitive after a while, and that fact, coupled with a dependence on the audience's willingness to buy into stereotypes, can make this movie seem overlong and familiar. Flatulence and burping jokes help communicate that the nerds lack social graces, but coarseness is not necessarily an accompaniment to high intelligence. Even the most socially connected and admired frat boys are often depicted as vulgar and coarse in the media, so this movie seems a bit confused regarding stereotypes. Still, it's fun to hear lead characters speak of "parietal lobes," "infinite space," and "reverse polarity" in a comedy.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about whether the nerds here are depicted as socially awkward because all super-intelligent people have difficulties relating to others or because this combination of traits makes for a funny movie. This movie was made in the '80s; how are "nerds" portrayed now?
How do you think the movie wants us to view the nerds: as admirable or as misfits?
For the most part the nerds use their considerable intelligence to solve problems. Do you think some people are intimidated by people with high intelligence? Give some examples.
To overcome the last obstacle, one nerd resorts to violence. His act is greeted with cheers and the kisses of his favorite young woman. Do you think this contradicts what seems to be the movie's greater point: that being different is OK and it's not necessary to behave the way others behave to be accepted?
- In theaters: August 22, 1987
- On DVD or streaming: March 6, 2007
- Cast: Robert Carradine, Curtis Armstrong, Timothy Busfield, Larry B. Scott, Courtney Thorne-Smith
- Director: Joe Roth
- Studio: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 98 minutes
- MPAA rating: PG-13
- MPAA explanation: for sexual humor, some language, and drug content.
- Last updated: April 1, 2023
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