Adventure Boyz Parent Guide
Good intentions can't save this film from its choppy themes, lazy writing, and subtle misogyny.
Parent Movie Review
Sam (Rory Ford) and Jake (Felix Ford) Harris are two young brothers with a love of dirt biking and adventure. When their mother (Angela Dixon) goes on a trip to America, the boys’ father, Michael (Howard J. Ford), teaches them that time on a screen will never compare to real experiences. Unfortunately, the boys go looking for adventure in the wrong places and get caught up in a diamond theft that forces them to use all their dirt biking and adventuring skills to save the day.
When I first saw the plot synopsis for Adventure Boyz , I thought this could go one of two ways: either a preachy anti-screen rant meant to shame parents, or a sweet and poignant family feature about spending time together. To my surprise it ended up being neither. This film has no clear positive message, lazy writing, and bad acting; the unholy trifecta of low budget family productions. If you’re going to make a cheap family movie at least give it a clear moral so it’s not a complete waste of the audience’s time. The narrative sets up the “screens are bad” message early on as Michael looks upon people using at their phones in public with an expression that harkens to an old man having Vietnam flashbacks. He tells his boys that smart devices have their purpose, but they are not meant for children to use in lieu of outdoor play. With that out of the way the writers promptly throw the theme out the window and don’t mention it again until the very end. Once the boys begin their adventure, they get chased by criminals, their dad gets thrown in jail, and a crime boss threatens to snap their necks. So, isn’t the real message that going outside is dangerous and you should stay home and play on a tablet? Another message this film wants to send is that police don’t listen to children, so there is no use in talking to them. The police officers portrayed on screen are all bumbling and incompetent, which doesn’t seem like a great thing to be teaching children.
I cannot review Adventure Boyz without touching on the subtle sexism that pervades the narrative. In the very beginning of the movie Sam’s voice over narration tells us that his mother is the rational one - which is a good quality for a mommy. Now, that, in itself is not that bad. But it’s only the first of a number of instances that made me wince. At one point, Sam talks about how he started making paper airplanes at school and soon the whole class started doing it - even the girls - as if girls making paper airplanes is shocking. One of the criminals makes fun of the other for having pink gardening gloves. When the police come for Michael, he is arrested by male officers, while the female officers stay behind to talk to the boys and take care of them, because of course that’s all women can do. The boys’ mom, Lucy, is a one-dimensional character whose only purpose is to be a killjoy and stomp on Michael’s dreams.
For the reasons listed above, I cannot recommend this movie for children. I also don’t recommend it for any age based on its creative merits and technical aspects. What’s disappointing is that I can tell that the production team really wanted to make something that was appropriate for families and that could initiate meaningful discussion, and maybe in the hands of a different writer, it could have.Directed by Howard J Ford. Starring Jon Campling, Angela Dixon, and Justin Hayward. Running time: 93 minutes. Theatrical release February 21, 2020. Updated March 2, 2020
Watch the trailer for Adventure Boyz
Rating & Content Info
Why is Adventure Boyz rated Not Rated? Adventure Boyz is rated Not Rated by the MPAA
Violence: A man is tied and gagged and held against his will. A man chokes a young boy and threatens to snap his neck. Two criminals are hurt in a slap stick manner by traps the boys have set up.
Sexual Content: None
Profanity: There is one minor profanity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None
Page last updated March 2, 2020
Adventure Boyz Parents' Guide
Michael tells his boys that too much time on their tablets is not good for them. What do you think is a healthy amount of screen time? What are some activities you could do instead of playing on a tablet?
How can you determine the appropriate amount of screen time for your family?
Raisingchildren.net: Screen time and your family: a healthy approach
My Health Alberta: Cutting Back on Your Child’s Screen Time
Panda Security: 4 Family Media Agreement Printables for Your Electronics
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The most recent home video release of Adventure Boyz movie is February 21, 2020. Here are some details…
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