Snake & Mongoose

Movie review by
Brian Costello, Common Sense Media
Snake & Mongoose Movie Poster Image
Enjoyable drag racing movie has smoking, mild profanity.
  • PG-13
  • 2014
  • 102 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

This film shows the virtues of friendly competition and teamwork.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Despite the smoking, drinking, and swearing, the two main characters are dedicated to doing their best and bringing attention to their chosen sport.


There is some historical footage from actual drag races in which the vehicles spin out of control and burst into flames. Also, Mongoose's son is shown dying from leukemia.


Some flirtation and innuendo as Mongoose is conveyed as a "ladies' man," often seen flirting with female drag racing fans. Early in the film, a man and a woman are shown making out.


Occasional mild profanity. "For Christ's sake." "Bitching." "Pompous pr--k." "Ass."


This movie, about drag racing's growing popularity in the '60s and '70s, is presented in part by the National Hot Rod Association. The drag racing vehicles and the uniforms of the racers are covered in sponsors ranging from Mattel, the U.S. Army, Coca-Cola, Olympia Beer, Ford, English Leather, Champion Spark Plugs, and Beechnut Gum. A fair amount of the movie is centered on Snake and Mongoose trying to secure sponsorship through Mattel, and having Mattel sell Hot Wheels car miniature versions of the drag racing vehicles they drive.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Snake is frequently shown smoking cigarettes. Characters are shown drinking beer and smoking cigarettes and cigars throughout the movie.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Snake & Mongoose is a 2013 movie chronicling the historical friendly rivalry between two of drag racing's best-known competitors, and how they helped make drag racing a more popular sport in the '60s and '70s. Characters are frequently shown smoking cigarettes and cigars and drinking beer. There are some moments of mild sexual innuendo, as Mongoose is frequently shown flirting with attractive women. There are also scenes in which Mongoose's son is shown dying from leukemia that might be difficult for more sensitive viewers. Sponsors, Mattel and Hot Wheels in particular, are frequently shown and appear on the uniforms and vehicles of the drag racers.

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What's the story?

SNAKE & MONGOOSE chronicles the friendly but fierce twenty-year rivalry between drag racers Don "The Snake" Prudhomme (Jesse Williams) and Tom "The Mongoose" McEwen (Richard Blake) from their beginnings as racers on small circuits to successful and victorious drivers in the 1970s. This film shows how Mongoose orchestrated the natural rivalry that emerged between he and The Snake into a lucrative marketing and sponsorship boon for both. Their competitive drive and love of drag racing is shown through every scene, through every up and down in their careers as each tries to outdo the other to be the champion on the drag strip.

Is it any good?

Even if you're not a drag racing fan, Snake & Mongoose is an interesting story of two bitter rivals who work together to become successful and elevate their sport into the national consciousness. Drag racing's ascendancy in the '60s and '70s is shown through televised footage of famous races during that time, as Snake and Mongoose work tirelessly both on and off the race track to try and secure a future for both themselves and the sport they love.

The acting and the direction is solid, and the story is engaging. For drag racing aficionados, this movie should prove especially enjoyable, as the love of drag racing is evident in each scene.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about drag racing. How is the history of drag racing shown? Did you learn anything new about the sport?

  • How is the culture of drag racing represented through the excitement of victory and the ever-present dangers of accidents?

  • How does this movie compare with other sports-themed movies?

Movie details

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Themes & Topics

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