Australian Council on Children and the Media

Go!

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Not suitable under 6; parental guidance 6-9 (sad themes of death, mild coarse language, teenage deviant behaviour)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Go!
  • a review of Go! completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 23 January 2020.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 6 Not suitable due to sad themes (death of parent; death of a friend), mild coarse language, and teenage deviant behaviour.
Children aged 6–9 Parental guidance recommended due to sad themes (death of parent; death of a friend), mild coarse language, and teenage deviant behaviour.
Children aged 10 and over Ok for this age group.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Go!
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild coarse language
Length 102 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

15-year-old Jack (William Lodder) and his mother Christie (Frances O'Connor) leave their Sydney home behind for a fresh start in a little country town in Western Australia. The local attraction is a go-kart racetrack, run by notoriously moody and withdrawn Patrick (Richard Roxburgh). Soon after his arrival, Jack discovers not only his passion but also his talent for motor racing. However, in order to beat local champion and bully Dean, he needs help. Unexpectedly, Dean's sister Mandy (Anastasia Bampos), clumsy but loyal mate Colin (Darius Amarfio-Jefferson), and eventually Patrick, a former successful race driver himself, come to his aid. Will Mandy's engineering talent and innovation, Colin's moral support, and Patrick's monosyllabic but priceless advice be enough to help Jack become the national go-kart champion? And will Jack be able to overcome his grief for his deceased Dad and beat his tendency to act recklessly and risk too much?

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Coming of age; motor racing; competitiveness; weighing up risks; teamwork; friendship; first love; working through grief; self-reflection.

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie including:

  • Dean punches Jack in the stomach.
  • Colin pushes one of the bullies.
  • Dean threatens Jack before a race: "You're dead!"
  • Dean and his mates verbally abuse and bully Colin.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • The thought that Jack's dad died of cancer when Jack was 11 may upset children in this age group. There are recurring eerie slow-motion flashback scenes of young Jack and his Dad driving and doing donuts in a car. Special effects make Dad turn into a disrupted and flashing holographic display.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • In addition to the realisation that Jack's dad died of cancer, children in this age group may become upset seeing Jack struggling with his grief, acting recklessly, crying, and verbalising how much he misses his dad and that he cannot imagine never seeing him again.
  • Patrick's emotional revelation that he stopped racing because he acted recklessly during a race, which caused his friend to have a fatal crash, may upset children in this age group.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

  • Nothing further of concern.

Product placement

  • None noted.

Sexual references

There are some sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Jack helps Barry, a local police officer, ask his widowed mother out on a date.
  • Jack and Mandy fall in love and are seen holding hands.
  • Jack and Mandy are seen once kissing each other on the lips.

Nudity and sexual activity

  • None noted.

Use of substances

  • None noted.

Coarse language

There is some coarse language in this movie, including:

  • "Out of the way, pie shop"
  • "It pisses me off!"
  • "ass clown"
  • "I want to hit him in the nuts"
  • "we're screwed"
  • "badass"
  • "their shit is much better than our shit!"
  • "stupid"
  • "shut up!"

In a nutshell

Go! is an Australian coming of age racing drama packed with positive role models and messages. Revolving around teenager Jack, the movie appeals to a tween and teenage audience. The excellent cast, great soundtrack and somewhat predictable yet heart-warming story make Go! a movie worth watching for families with tween and teen children.

The main message from this movie is that you cannot escape emotional baggage, instead, it is important to work through it, with the help of family and friends. A strong message in this movie is that it is okay for boys and men to show emotions and to talk about their fears. Another important message is that reckless behaviour is dangerous, and it is worth being patient and level-headed rather than pushing too far and taking too big a risk.

Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • friendship
  • teamwork
  • fighting for ones' dreams even when confronted with hurdles
  • self-reflection, admitting to mistakes, and apologising
  • reaching out to people and asking for forgiveness
  • accepting help
  • not regarding showing emotions as weakness
  • accepting that some things cannot be fixed but support from family, friends, and time will make it better
  • being a good sport
  • stepping out of one's comfort zone and standing up for oneself
  • a certain degree of fear is good because it tells you when you push too far.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:

  • Deviant behaviour: it is indicated that Christie and Jack left Sydney after an "incident" that very likely involved Jack getting into some trouble. Jack repeatedly steals his mum's car, drives around town without a licence, and does wheelies. Jack gets away with stern warnings from his mother and the local police because they understand that Jack is acting recklessly as a reaction to his unprocessed grief. It has to be acknowledged, however, that in real life this sort of action would most likely have much more severe consequences, and that driving without a licence is highly irresponsible and poses a huge risk to oneself and others.
  • Recklessness: Patrick's tale of him pushing too hard during a race and accidentally causing his teammate to have a fatal crash can be used as an example that taking unnecessary risks can have dire consequences.
  • Selfishness: during the regional race Jack pushes too hard, ignores his team's advice and instead of securing a safe second place ends up crashing and missing out on qualifying for the national competition. Mandy is extremely disappointed and declares that his selfishness means that he let down the entire team.

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