Fearless Parent Guide
This movie accomplishes an incredible feat: it takes itself way too seriously while also not taking itself seriously enough.
Parent Movie Review
Reid (voiced by Miles Robbins) has made it further than anyone else in his favorite video game, Planet Master. As he begins the final level, it becomes a little bit more real than he bargained for when three superpowered babies from the game land in his backyard. Reid and his friend Melanie (Yara Shahidi) must find a way to get the babies back to their father, Captain Lightspeed (Jadakiss), while also avoiding the evil Doctor Arcannis (Miguel J. Pimentel) who will stop at nothing to take the babies’ powers for himself.
The concept of a video game entering the real world, or vice versa, is not new. It’s been done with varying degrees of success in film over the last few years and is a concept that can lend itself to meta humor and fourth wall breaking. When I first heard about Fearless I thought it had the potential to be a self-aware, cleverly written, child friendly take on this idea, especially because the writer/director was one of the writers for Hoodwinked, which was ahead of its time in terms of subverting expectations and putting a postmodern twist on its genre. Spoiler alert: it’s not.
Fearless pulls off an incredible feat: it takes itself way too seriously while also not taking itself seriously enough. The “real world” characters are barely fazed by the fact that their video game characters are now real. There’s little more than a slightly raised voice to indicate some level of disbelief at the bizarre situation. But along with that, there are no jokes about it. There are no fourth wall breaks, no self-referencing, no jabs at the weirdness of the situation. Everything is played completely straight. The only humor to be found is jokes about diapers, burps, and pee. The exception is the character of General Blazerhatch (Gabrielle Union) who delivers a fantastic performance as an over-zealous commander providing some great one liners and running gags.
I found this movie to be a slog to watch, with one dimensional characters, no internal logic, and subpar voice acting (with the exception of Union). My three-year-old was decently entertained and enjoyed the superpowered battles. I think young children will enjoy it well enough, but teens and adults may well fear wasting an hour and half on a film that falls somewhere between boring and juvenile.Directed by Cory Edwards. Starring Yara Shahidi, Miles Robbins, Miguel J Pimentel, Gabrielle Union. Running time: 91 minutes. Theatrical release August 14, 2020. Updated August 15, 2020
Watch the trailer for Fearless
Rating & Content Info
Why is Fearless rated TV-G? Fearless is rated TV-G by the MPAA
Violence: Cartoon superhero violence including laser guns, explosions, kicking, punching, alien monsters, robots with lasers, tanks, guns, airplanes with missiles, spears, and superpowered blasts. An alien monster is killed by a geyser of lava. A character is attacked by alien monsters and robots. Babies are kidnapped more than once. Members of the military are shown carrying and shooting guns.
Sexual Content: None
Profanity: One use of a term of deity. A handful of mild insults including “imbecile” and “filth”.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None
Page last updated August 15, 2020
Fearless Parents' Guide
Why does Reid choose to play video games so much? How does he learn to be fearless in the real world?
Loved this movie? Try these books…
The classic novel about games becoming real is Chris Van Allsburg’s Jumanji. Another story in a similar vein is The Gauntlet. Written by Karuna Riazi, this teen novel tells the story of a girl who discovers a wooden board game, only to become trapped inside. Ernest Cline’s novel Ready Player One follows the protagonist as he searches for an Easter egg in a virtual reality game. If he finds it, he’ll win a fortune. Armada, also written by Cline, features a young man who sees a UFO outside that resembles one from his favorite video game. Recruited to defend against aliens, he soon learns that things aren’t always what they seem.
Related home video titles:
Perhaps the best animated movie about young superheroes is The Incredibles. Its sequel The Incredibles 2 also ramps up the action for the Parr family and introduces the superheroes of their toddler, Jack Jack.
In Wreck-it-Ralph, the titular video game character leaves the virtual world for the real one, where he wants to change his reputation. The sequel, Ralph Breaks the Internet, sees Ralph breaking into the internet to save his friend.
Jumanji tells the story of a magical board game: when two kids start playing it, they unleash jungle animals, a hunter, and a man who’s been trapped in the game for 26 years. When a video game version of the game malfunctions in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, four friends are sucked into the game and must complete the levels to get back home. In Jumanji: The Next Level, two kids and two elderly friends are pulled into the game – and once again, their avatars don’t match their physical bodies.
A virtual reality game provides escape from real life in Ready Player One. Things get exciting when players learn that an Easter egg hidden in the game unlocks a fortune for the person who can find it.