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. Nevertheless he 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 mother, Dave’s crew learns all about the complexity and value of human life and take on board far more than they bargained for.

Themes

Bullying; interplanetary life

Violence

There is some violence in this movie. For example:

  • 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, Dave 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.

Content that may disturb children

Under 8

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 eight. For example:

  • Younger children might be confused by the fact that Dave is both a person and a space ship. They could also be 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’ 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. These scenes might be disturbing for young viewers. 

From 8-13

There are no additional scenes in this movie that are likely scare or disturb children in this age group. 

Over 13

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

Sexual references

None of concern 

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

There is some use of substances in this movie. For example:

  • 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. 

Nudity and sexual activity

There is some nudity and sexual activity in this movie. For example:

  • While searching for Josh, Dave comes across 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. When she twirls, her dress flares out revealing lots of thigh. 

Product placement

None of concern 

Coarse language  

This movie contains some mild coarse language, put-downs and name-calling. 

Ideas to discuss with your children

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. The movie also suggests that what appears to be useless or inferior at first might prove to be of inestimable value upon closer inspection. You might like to discuss with your children some of the values in this movie, such as friendship, courage, loyalty, determination and imagination.

This movie could also give you the opportunity to discuss with your children the effects of bullying, both on the perpetrator and the victim, and the consequences of judging a person by appearances.