Kirk Douglas plays Harry, an aging boxer recovering from a stroke, who wants to retreive some lost “magic diamonds” he once hid in Reno. So he sets off in a Thelma and Louise-style vintage convertible with his son (Dan Ackroyd) and grandson (Corbin Allred). And you haven’t seen many movies if you don’t guess that some major bonding is accomplished and some long-standing family wounds are healed along the way.
We want to like it. There’s a reason that road movies that feature both adventure and reconciliation are so popular, and of course we’re rooting for Kirk Douglas’ recovery from a stroke even more than for the character’s. And every so often it captures us with a genuine moment of humor or connection between the characters. But far more often it gets in its own way, especially with attitudes about drinking, smoking, fighting, and women that were out of date when the yellowing clippings in Harry’s scrapbook were first printed.
Parents should know that this movie originally received an R rating, but the MPAA backed down after Kirk Douglas lodged a complaint. They should have kept it an R. Nearly a third of the movie is set in a brothel, cutting back and forth between the sexual encounters of the three generations. While there is no nudity, the discussions of the encounters are explicit. Drinking, smoking, fighting, sex, and drug use are casually used as positive indicators of maturity and masculinity. A father takes his underage son to the brothel as an introduction to sex.
Families whose teens do see the movie might want to talk about the struggle Ackroyd’s character has to be the father he wishes his own father had been, the importance of letting people know that you love, respect, and support them, and how it feels to be suddenly alone and disabled.