The Gods Must Be Crazy II

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
The Gods Must Be Crazy II Movie Poster Image
Charming sequel retains madcap whimsy of family classic.
  • PG
  • 1990
  • 109 minutes

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

While those who live in the modern world might think themselves better or more evolved, they don't know as much as they might think, and their lifestyle is not necessarily better. There is a strong anti-consumerism message.

Positive Role Models & Representations

A big-city lawyer who finds herself lost in a remote part of Africa and slowly must realize that all her street smarts won't do her much good out there. Instead, she can learn from a naturalist, who understands the wild, untamed land, and a native bushman, who knows the country intimately yet cannot fathom the "modern world."

Violence

Several scenes feature soldiers and poachers wielding weapons and shooting at people, though the gunfights border on slapstick and nobody really gets hurt. One scene shows a dying elephant after poachers have removed its tusks.

Sex

Some bumbling flirting and one scene where a woman accidentally exposes her underwear. The African bushmen, who live in a remote and hot part of the continent, wear very little clothing.

Language

Occasional swearing, including "hell," "ass" and "goddamn."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this sequel to The Gods Must Be Crazy follows the same formula and is just as charming. This fish-out-of-water tale focuses on a big-city lawyer who ends up stranded deep in the African bush, who realizes that her book-learning is almost useless and the truly educated people are those who learn to read the language of the jungle. There's mild swearing ("hell" and "ass") and some gunfights that have a slapstick tone, but overall this is a fun film that families will enjoy watching together.

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What's the story?

Ann Taylor (Lena Farugia), a big city lawyer, is sent to Africa for business, where through a series of mishaps, she ends up stranded in the bush with a zoologist (Hans Strydom) who knows plenty about wildlife but less about relating to real people. Meanwhile, Xixo (N!xau), the native bushman who was the hero of the original The Gods Must Be Crazy film, returns when his children find themselves stuck in a poacher's truck and are transported far from home. These stories intersect -- along with that of two bumbling soldiers trying to capture each other -- and once again Xixo's deep understanding of the wild world helps him save the day.

Is it any good?

THE GODS MUST BE CRAZY II follows the same formula as the first movie, and while it's not exactly original, everything that worked the first time is just as charming here. N!xau is a delight, again, as the bushman who can't fathom what these city folks are doing so far out in the bush, and clearly so far out of their element. The poachers and the soldiers are just as buffoonish, making them easy targets for the film's broad comedy and easily fooled by a bushman who knows how to read the hidden language of the natural world.

Director Jamie Uys, who also helmed the original film, is essentially retelling the same story, but he knows how well it worked the first time around and understands how to press the same buttons. The result is a delightfully absurd tale that pokes fun at the modern world and makes it clear that traditional education may be useful in big city, but isn't much good when trying to understand the parts of the world that have yet to be tamed by man.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Ann's education. What does she learn in the jungle? How do her views change during the film?

  • How does this sequel compare to the original film? What do the two films say about the modern consumer society?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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