Jack (William Lodder) is 15 when he and his mother, Christie (Frances O’Connor), leave their Sydney home 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The local attraction is a go-kart racetrack, run by notoriously moody and withdrawn Patrick (Richard Roxburgh), a former successful race driver. Soon after his arrival, Jack discovers a passion and talent for motor racing. But to beat local champion and bully Dean, he needs help. Unexpectedly, Dean’s sister Mandy (Anastasia Bampos), Jack’s clumsy but loyal mate Colin (Darius Amarfio-Jefferson), and Patrick 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 dead father, as well as his own reckless and risk-taking impulses?
Coming of age; motor racing; competitiveness; weighing up risks; teamwork; friendship; first love; working through grief; self-reflection
Go! has some violence. For example:
- Dean punches Jack in the stomach.
- Colin pushes one of the bullies.
- Dean says threateningly to Jack before a race, ‘You’re dead!’
- Dean and his mates verbally abuse and bully Colin.
Go! has some sexual references. For example:
- Jack helps Barry, a local police officer, ask his widowed mother out on a date.
- Jack and Mandy fall in love and hold hands.
- Jack and Mandy once kiss each other on the lips.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Nudity and sexual activity
Go! has some coarse language.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Go! is an Australian coming-of-age drama with go-kart racing themes. Packed with positive role models and messages, Go! revolves around teenager Jack and will appeal 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 teenage children.
The main message from this movie is that you can’t escape emotional baggage. Instead, it’s best to work through it with the help of family and friends. A strong message in this movie is that it’s OK for boys and men to show emotions and talk about their fears. Another important message is that reckless behaviour is dangerous, and it’s better to be patient than to push too hard and take excessive risks.
Values in this movie that you could reinforce with your children include:
- being a good friend
- working as a team
- fighting for your dreams even when you’re confronted with hurdles
- reflecting on yourself, your mistakes and your responsibility
- asking for and accepting forgiveness
- accepting help
- being open to emotions
- accepting that you can’t fix some things, but time and the support of family and friends can make these things better
- being a good sport
- stepping out of your comfort zone and standing up for yourself
- being aware when your instincts are telling that that you’re pushing too far.
This movie could also give you the chance to talk with your children about real-life issues like:
- risky behaviour: it seems that Christie and Jack leave Sydney after Jacks gets 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 out his unprocessed grief. But in real life this sort of action would most likely have much more serious consequences.
- recklessness: Patrick’s tale of pushing too hard during a race and accidentally causing his teammate to have a fatal crash is an example of how taking unnecessary risks can have dire consequences.
- selfishness: during the regional race Jack pushes too hard, ignores his team’s advice and ends up crashing and missing out on qualifying for the national competition rather than securing a safe second place. Mandy is extremely disappointed and declares that his selfishness means that he has let down the entire team.