A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Some talk of the importance of believing in yourself. Teamwork. The positive benefits in daily life of learning martial arts.
Positive Role Models
Characters too cartoonish to be seen as positive role models.
Violence & Scariness
Martial arts, sports, and comedic pratfall violence, most of it exaggerated. A rival team shows up to play soccer armed with wrenches and hammers and uses them on the heads, legs, and bodies of the opposing team. While playing this team, the scene briefly switches to the lead character dressed like a soldier with a machine gun fighting in a wartime battle. A player's leg is broken by a cheating team. Soccer games turn into a mix of soccer and martial arts kicks and punches. A man has bottles broken over his thick head. Soccer balls are kicked with such power they knock over players or even throw them backwards several feet. A character mentions suicide as a response to humiliation.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some kissing. A scene of a man peeing on a wall. A character removes his pants (off camera) and makes another character wear his underpants on his head to humiliate him.
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Products & Purchases
The team scores a sponsorship deal with Puma shoes. Heineken beer bottles clearly shown in one scene.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Cigarette smoking, cigar smoking. Rival team is injected with performance-enhancing drugs. Character shuffles down a busy street disheveled and drinking a beer. Champagne drinking. Drinking in a bar. A character suffers a hangover.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Shaolin Soccer is a 2001 sports comedy in which a ragtag group of soccer and martial arts misfits join forces to create a winning soccer team. The movie has some comic violence and crude humor, including a scene of a man peeing on a wall, and another man vomiting. There's some action/fantasy violence, and characters are wounded. While much of the violence is exaggerated for the sake of comedy and/or action, scenes of players getting legs broken by cheating rival teams also occur. Characters smoke and drink, and there's a reference to "American drugs," which are performance-enhancing drugs injected into one of the rival teams. A character mentions suicide as a response to humiliation. There's a joke about being in love with a married woman. A character removes his pants (off camera) and makes another character wear his underpants on his head to humiliate him. Profanity includes "s--t," "hell." 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 most successful Hong Kong film ever, this is a very traditional underdog sports team story told in a delightfully nontraditional style, with whimsy, fantasy, and heart. Shaolin Soccer is pure silly fun with such wonderful spirit that even the dumbest jokes and most predictable developments seem brighter.
The film's visual imagination and effervescent good spirits are pure delight. A group of Chinese people spontaneously break into a dance number to the Kool and the Gang song "Celebration." Soccer players fly through the sky and kick the ball the length of the field. A sweet bun maker (that is, a sweet maker of sweet buns) uses kung fu to mix the flour and gets fired when the buns get sour after her tears fall into the batter. And the hero tells the heroine she is beautiful before her makeover.
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.