A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Tolerance and acceptance of people from different backgrounds and cultures.
Positive Role Models
Though the characters are too one-dimensional to be considered positive role models, the women hold leadership positions and display as much strength, courage, and valor as the men.
Violence & Scariness
Sci-fi peril. Blood and death from battle, spaceship battles, explosions, laser guns.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Discussion of sex and masturbation. Characters talk of sex while in post-coital embraces. Jokes involving penis size, testosterone, estrogen.
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"Bulls--t," "s--t," "piss," "ass," "balls," "son of a bitch."
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Products & Purchases
Movie loosely based on popular 1990s video game. A character endears himself to those he has just met by presenting a clearly visible bottle of Johnnie Walker Black Label scotch.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A character unveils a bottle of scotch; characters drink and begin to act drunk.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Wing Commander is a 1999 sci-fi movie with clichéd characters and a slow-moving, hard-to-follow story line. Characters talk of sex and masturbation, make innuendoes during (clothed) post-coital cuddling, and debate whether or not testosterone or estrogen make one a better fighter pilot. Profanity is used fairly often: "son of a bitch," "bulls--t," and "piss," among other expletives. A newly arrived fighter pilot tries endearing himself to those around him by breaking out a bottle of scotch; characters drink and act drunk. There is sci-fi violence: battles between spaceships, between laser-gun-toting humans and aliens, and some blood and death. The only redeeming aspect to this movie is that women are strong leaders who display as much (if not more) courage and valor than men, unlike in so many sci-fi and war-themed movies in which women are little more than damsels in distress. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
WING COMMANDER is a bad mix of clichéd characters, slow-paced and hard-to-follow action, and gratuitous sex talk. It's difficult to feel much involvement with the story when "the bad guys" aren't really shown until the last half hour or so of the movie and "the good guys" aren't especially likable. It's also difficult to feel much fear for said bad guys when they look like giant cats walking on their hind legs while talking in the same voice as a source who wishes to remain anonymous during an investigative news segment.
There's just not much to care about here, even with the world at stake. This is the classic example of a movie that tries to do too much with too little. Time that could have been spent in space battles is wasted on attempts at love or romance or to preach about how wrong it is to hate someone based on his or her heritage. And instead of a sci-fi story, what emerges is a lot of complicated space talk and gadgetry along with basic archetypal characters we've all seen so many times (the "cocky flyboy," the "misfit with something to prove") that the result is a confusing mess.
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.