The Adventure Club Parent Review
Finding a good movie for 8 to 11-year-olds can be tough. This one strikes the perfect balance with some moments of peril, a bad guy who's not too evil and hidden treasure.
Finding a good movie for 8 to 11-year-olds can be tough. At that age, they might feel too old for animated children’s movies. But they’re not quite ready for the more mature content in teen films. The Adventure Club strikes the perfect balance with some moments of peril, a bad guy who’s not excessively evil and hidden treasure.
Ricky Young (Sam Ashe Arnold) and his friends Billy (Jakob Davies) and Sandy (Dalila Bela) have formed a club. Their secret headquarters is in an old garage. But their problem is finding any adventures to pursue in their small town. Finally they stumble upon a clue from Ricky’s deceased grandfather that leads them to a magical box. Unsure what the artifact can do, the trio asks their friend Ozzie (Kim Coates) for help.
Ozzie is the quirky owner of an antique shop filled with all kinds of trinkets and trifles. He sports wild curly hair, wears three pairs of glasses and is a fountain of knowledge when it comes to old and odd objects. (Coates, who is better known for tough roles in TV shows like Sons of Anarchy and Prison Break, displays a great sense of comedic timing here.) When Ozzie discovers what the kids have, he warns them about the danger of so much power. Still, they are determined to keep their new find.
Unfortunately, they are not the only ones who want it. Michael Langley (Billy Zane), an escaped convict, knows all about the abilities of the box. He blackmails a family friend into assisting him and cozies up with Ricky’s mom (Gabrielle Miller) in hopes of getting her help as well. However, Jane, as the director of the local science museum, has her mind on other things. She is desperately seeking funds to keep the facility running – and she isn’t getting much support from the city council.
The characters in the film aren’t terribly complex. Sandy is a brainiac. Billy constantly worries about breaking the rules. And Ricky is a novice Indiana Jones. Yes, the kids break some rules (something parents might want to discuss with their own children). They make the occasional poor decision and tease a security guard. Yet other than that, and a couple brief scuffles and a run-in with schoolyard tormentors, there are very few content concerns.
And when it comes to bullies, this film truly stands out. Often children’s movies stoop to getting revenge or humiliating mean kids. This production takes a different stance and resolves the conflicts in a very positive way. On that point alone, The Adventure Club deserves high marks. Luckily, this movie also offers much to entertain and engage young viewers who are looking for a little adventure of their own.Directed by Geoff Anderson. Starring Billy Zane, Kim Coates, Dalila Bela, Sam Ashe Arnold, Jakob Davie. Updated September 19, 2016
Get details on profanity, sex and violence in The Adventure Club here.
The Adventure Club Parents Guide
Ricky misses his grandfather and wants to be an adventurer like he was. What interests or characteristics do you share with your grandparents? What can you learn from their lives?
The box the friends find grants three wishes. Do they make good use of this opportunity? What would you wish for if you had the chance? What might be dangerous about having so much power?
Ricky, Billy and Sandy worry about growing up and having “boring, normal lives”. Is adulthood boring? What kinds of adventures can grownups have? Is curiosity something you can have at any age?