Australian Council on Children and the Media

Meet Dave

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Short takes

Not recommended under 8, PG to 13 (Violence, Crude humour).

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Meet Dave
  • a review of Meet Dave completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 10 July 2008.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not recommended due to violence and crude humour
Children aged 8-13 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and crude humour
Children over the age of 13 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: Meet Dave
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Infrequent violence and crude humour
Length 90 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The Captain (Eddie Murphy) and his crew including Second in Command (Ed Helms) and Number 3 (Gabrielle Union) crash their spaceship, which is in the form of a human called Dave (also played by Eddie Murphy) on Liberty Island. The group of tiny intergalactic travellers have come to earth to collect all the salt from the world’s oceans. The salt will provide their people with power for generations to come. The only problem, aside from the fact that what they plan to do would destroy all life on earth, is that the spherical device which they need to collect the salt has crashed separately from the ship.
In fact the sphere crashed right through Josh’s bedroom window. Josh (Austyn Myers) is an 11 year-old boy who is small for his age but wants to be a hero like his dad was before he died. Josh lives with his overprotective mother Gina (Elizabeth Banks) who crashes her car into Dave and then does everything she can to make amends.

Meanwhile Dave is running out of power and time. The crew must find the sphere, drain the oceans and get back to their planet, or all will be lost. The sphere is taken from Josh by school bullies and must be tracked down. With help from Josh and his mom Dave’s crew learns all about the complexity and value of human life and take on board far more than they bargained for.

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.

Bullying; interplanetary life

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:

  • A space rock blasts through Josh’s window, lands in his goldfish bowl and petrifies his goldfish.
  • Dave is hit by a car. He flies through the air before smashing onto the pavement.
  • Josh is verbally threatened in class by a couple of kids and his space rock is taken.
  • Dave and Josh are caught in the middle of an armed robbery. Dave throws one thief across the room and squeezes the other robber’s gun.
  • The school bullies corner Josh at a fair and slap and push him around.
  • Dave grabs one of the bullies, picks him up, flips him around and shakes him.
  • When Second in Command takes control of Dave, he blasts his way out of the police station by shooting lasers from his fingers. Police shoot at him and he fires at police and blasts one of the police cars into the sky. It crashes back down in a fireball.
  • Number 3, hits Number 12 with a bottle.
  • The Captain and Number 3 are exiled from Dave and blasted by a sidewalk sprayer, stuck to the road and nearly hit by a car.
  • Weapons are used when Second in Command takes control of Dave and when The Captain returns one of his officers grabs a gun.

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:

  • Younger children may be confused by the fact that Dave is both a person and a space ship and disturbed by Dave’s erratic behaviour as he attempts to fit in on earth. He behaves strangely, at times almost angrily, in a department store and also on a ferry. He visibly disturbs shoppers and passengers.
  • The petty officers working in Dave’s mouth are often the victims of ‘flash flood’ like conditions as they try to survive getting washed away by glasses of water or other drinks or ambushed by hotdogs being ruthlessly shoved into the mouth. They hang on to whatever they can find, or dangle, screaming, from Dave’s epiglottis, while wearing strange suits. Those scenes may be disturbing for young viewers.

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.

Children in this age group may also be disturbed by the above-mentioned scenes.

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.

There are no additional scenes in this movie that are likely scare or disturb children aged eight to thirteen.

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

None of concern

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie, including:

  • While searching for Josh Dave happens upon a chorus line featuring scantily clad women.
  • While checking for a gas leak, Lieutenant Buttocks shows part of his buttocks.
  • Dave heads to a change room, strips to his boxer shorts and shirt and proceeds to “poop money.”
  • Number 3 tries to get the Captain’s attention by wearing a sexy dress, revealing some cleavage and lots of thigh. The Captain barely notices as he is busy trying to Control Dave’s ‘dirty dancing’ with Gina.
  • Gina is wearing a backless dress. She shakes her breasts while she is salsa dancing with Dave and when she twirls, her dress flares out revealing lots of thigh.

Use of substances

There is some use of substances in this movie, including:

  • Gina and Dave drink Mojitas at a Salsa club.
  • A group of petty officers working in Dave’s mouth get drunk when Dave consumes a mojita.

Coarse language

There is some name calling and crude language. Including

  • Smell my butt crack
  • Gigantic strumpet
  • Little freak

 

In a nutshell

Meet Dave is a science fiction comedy featuring unusual special effects and a slightly off-beat plot. The film is most likely to be enjoyed by die-hard Eddie Murphy fans and anyone who appreciates crude humour.
The main messages from this movie are that strength and courage come in many different sizes and that what may appear to be useless or inferior at first may prove to be of inestimable value upon closer inspection.
Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • friendship, courage, loyalty, determination and imagination.

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children

  • the effects of bullying, both on the perpetrator and the victim.
  • the consequences of judging a person by appearances

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