What Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that although this vapid slapstick comedy from the creators of Reno 911! will appeal to tweens and teens, its humor is tinged with a grim undercurrent: The main character is avenging his father's death at the hands of a murderous -- if seemingly ridiculous -- letch. There are also Chinese stereotypes (one character carries a lucky cricket and dispenses with enemies using chopsticks) and a fair bit of violence, mostly cartoonish and without blood. The movie clearly has its tongue firmly in cheek, which takes the edge off the crudest humor, but it's still sex-and-body-part based.
- Families can talk about the appeal of underdog stories. Why are films that depict a character's triumphant rise so compelling? In real life, do you think people are more interested in stories like that or in watching heroes crash and burn (the way young Randy fails at the Olympics)? What role does the media play in that process? Also, how does seeing sports on TV affect your perception of them? Do televised events overemphasize the drama, or are they merely mirroring what actually exist? Do you think ping-pong could be that hyper-competitive? What other sports looks calm when in fact they aren't?