Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Thunderstruck

posted by Nell Minow
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Kindergarten - 3rd Grade
MPAA Rating:Rated PG for mild language and rude humor
Profanity:Some schoolyard language ("sucks," "crap")
Nudity/Sex:Brief potty humor
Alcohol/Drugs:None
Violence/Scariness:None
Diversity Issues:Diverse characters
Movie Release Date:August 24, 2012

This “Freaky Friday” with basketball keeps throwing airballs.

It’s the story of Brian (Taylor Gray) a sixteen-year-old kid who wishes he could have the skills of Olympic gold medalist and NBA star Kevin Durant playing himself, not very convincingly but with an engaging low-key unpretentiousness.

A magical basketball (don’t bother trying to figure it out; the movie doesn’t) switches their abilities.  Suddenly Brian can’t miss and KD can’t even make a free throw.  Brian goes from being the subject of jeers and humiliation in the school cafeteria to being a big man on campus, with the entire student body wearing shirts in his honor.  And to the dismay of his agent (Brandon T. Jackson) and the poor director moaning “take 47″ as they try to film a commercial for KD’s new shoes, KD can’t get out of his slump.

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Brian first meets KD at half-time, when he has just been given the chance to do a free throw for a big prize.  Instead of hitting the basket, he hit the mascot.  “I wish I had your talent,” Brian says.  “I wish you did, too,” KD tells him, but then says that it is hard work that matters more than talent.  That is a good message for kids but the entire premise of the movie is the opposite.  Both Brian and KD work very hard but it makes no difference in either case.  This is typical of the carelessness of the script.  Even the good guy characters are self-centered and without any interest in learning anything new.  The coaches (Jim Belushi and his son, Robert) have no understanding of the game’s skills or strategy and no interest in the team other than winning.  “Don’t suck!” is their charming mantra.  When it comes time for the big pep talk before the championship game, the best they can do is recite some lines from “Hoosiers.”  Plagiarism and insincerity — a nice lesson for the kids, both those on the team and those who are watching.

Parents should know that this movie has some schoolyard language (“it sucks,” “crap”), crotch hits, brief potty humor, and some bullying.

Family discussion:  Why did Kevin and his agent react differently when Kevin lost his talent?  Why did Brian become thoughtless and hurt his friends’ feelings?  If you could have someone’s talent, who would you pick?

If you like this, try: “Like Mike” and “Rookie of the Year”



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