Back on the Strip parents guide

Back on the Strip Parent Guide

This raunchy comedy provides lots of tasteless innuendo and no laughs whatsoever.

Overall D

Theaters: Desperate to launch his floundering magical career, Merlin winds up working as a stripper at a Las Vegas hotel.

Release date August 19, 2023

Violence B
Sexual Content D
Profanity D
Substance Use D

Why is Back on the Strip rated R? The MPAA rated Back on the Strip R for sexual material, language, and some drug use

Run Time: 117 minutes

Parent Movie Review

All his life, Merlin (Spencer Moore II) has wanted two things - to be a professional magician, and to be with his childhood best friend Robin (Raigan Harris). After blowing a talent show and getting fired from a kids’ birthday party, Merlin’s dreams of magic look as unlikely as his relationship with Robin. She’s recently become engaged to Blaize (Ryan Alexander Holmes), an insufferable prank vlogger. Thankfully, Merlin’s mom Verna (Tiffany Haddish) has a plan: she ships Merlin off to Las Vegas to find her old friend Rita (Colleen Camp) who used to run the infamous Cookie Club on the Strip.

Rita’s not doing much better than Merlin. The hotel is in disrepair, and the Cookie Club hasn’t seen more than half a dozen customers at once since its headline male striptease act, The Chocolate Chips, broke up years back. And while Merlin can’t seem to find a magic act, it turns out he has other “gifts” that make him perfectly suited to nude entertainment. With the help of the former Chips, led by Luther “Mr. Big” (Wesley Snipes), Merlin finds himself shaking what he’s got for huge crowds of raunchy women. The young man starts making good money, but he’s not getting any closer to getting the girl or the big magic act – and he’s not going to be able to conjure either one out of thin air…or out of his shorts.

I’m just going to assume you already figured out that this film isn’t family entertainment. Going way out on a limb, I’m going to make the bold statement that movies about taking your clothes off for money aren’t made for kids. As such, the thrust of the film is, well…thrusting. The screentime is 50% close ups of, or references to, male genitalia – so like Strays but with humans.

Unsurprisingly, the movie has a lengthy rap sheet for dirty jokes, obscene visuals, and weirdly juvenile messages about following your dreams. All that with a script that can’t make a joke to save its life. Case in point, there’s a scene which sees Tiffanny Haddish making some (as usual) explicit references to her sex life for laughs which includes her leaving a long pause and looking directly into the camera to let you know it’s a double entendre, which is something that was obvious to everybody immediately. The director drags out this pause out for a good five seconds, which just got embarrassing since nobody in my theater so much as giggled. If you’re going to be raunchy, at least be funny. It’s just embarrassing to watch someone flop in slow motion – but don’t worry, you’ll be able to watch the movie flop in real time at the box office.

Directed by Chris Spencer. Starring Tiffany Haddish, Wesley Snipes, Spence Moore II. Running time: 117 minutes. Theatrical release August 19, 2023. Updated

Back on the Strip
Rating & Content Info

Why is Back on the Strip rated R? Back on the Strip is rated R by the MPAA for sexual material, language, and some drug use

Violence: People are slapped and struck with heavy bottles and bowling pins.
Sexual Content: A woman smothers a man with a pillow and initiates sex over his loud objections. There are frequent scenes of sexual dancing and stripping, although no full nudity is seen. There are frequent close-ups of men’s groins in underwear or loose pants. There are constant graphic sexual jokes.
Profanity: There are 20 sexual expletives, 19 scatological curses, and frequent use of mild swears and terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are frequently seen drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana.

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Related home video titles:

Better family-friendly movies about chasing your dream include October Sky, Seabiscuit, The Man from Snowy River, McFarland USA, Field of Dreams, Rudy, Julie & Julia, A League of Their Own, The Fabelmans, and The Pursuit of Happyness.

Animated films with the same theme include Ratatouille, Babe, Coco, Zootopia, and Soul.