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DVD Review: Kickin’ it Old Skool

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Was this supposed to be funny? As I sat and watched this seemingly endless movie, I kept waiting for a laugh — even a slight chuckle would do. However, there is nothing funny to be found in this pile of celluloid. Kickin' it Old Skool follows the same concept as Big and 13 Going on 30, but it sucks out all the magic and laughs that those films contained. Instead of offering anything clever or funny, we get Jamie Kennedy doing his best to ape Adam Sandler and failing miserably. So, if you are looking for something that will rob you of two hours, go ahead and see this.

Justin is the twelve-year-old leader of a break dance crew involved in a talent show "battle" with his rival, Kip, and his crew. During the competition Justin attempts a particularly tough move which sends him flying off the stage. This fall lands the young dancer in a coma which lasts for twenty years. So far, so good.

While his parents (played by the slumming Debra Jo Rupp and Christopher McDonald) debate pulling the plug, a passing radio, playing Herbie Hancock's "Rockit," rouses him from his slumber. Next up, a series of unfunny skits showing how time has passed Justin (now played by Jamie Kennedy) by. He reunites with one of his old dance crew members, Darnell (Miguel Nunez), and with his childhood crush, Jen (Maria Menounos), who is engaged to his rival, Kip (Michael Rosenbaum). Now, with the players in place, can you guess where this is heading? Sure you can. The wheels are wobbling, follow me now.

Let's fill in a couple more plot pieces. Justin still fancies himself a dancer, his parents are near bankrupt from his hospital bills, and Kip hosts a dance competition. See where this is going now? It is pretty transparent. The wheels have flown off the ride.

When it came time to write the script, all brains, sense, and logic were checked at the door. There are bad scripts, and there are bad scripts, and this is a bad script. I am sure you have all seen a movie where the central plot would have fallen apart if the leads had a simple conversation? Kickin' it Old Skool takes it a step further. The script by Trace Slobotkin, and Josh Siegal & Dylan Morgan treats its characters with contempt; they don't have half a brain between them. The main character was in a coma for twenty years; he may look 32, but he is still 12. That little fact is ignored in favor of just treating him like a big stupid kid, using "I was in a coma" for the occasional punch line. Toss in some '80s jokes, parachute pants, and plenty of racial and cultural stereotypes and you have this movie.

Watching Kickin' it Old School will lower your IQ. It will make you wonder why anyone has ever heard of Jamie Kennedy. This movie could even make you kick that '80s nostalgia  that comes up every now and then.

Audio/Video. My review disk was a preview copy, and may not be the equal of what you will find on the shelves (not that I would recommend you actually add it to your collection). On the off hand that it is accurate (a fact I will never be able to prove), it doesn't look or sound all that bad. Colors are sharp, the image is free of defects, and the audio does its job.

Extras. Thirty minutes of deleted scenes and that's it. In a movie that was already too long (closing in 110 minutes), this section could have easily stretched past 45 minutes. We should be thankful that these deleted scenes were cut. Even as a collection of cut scenes they drag on.

Bottom line. You can safely skip this one. There is nothing to miss here. The jokes are non-existent, the performances are terrible, and the story… well, there isn't much there. I truly feel that I have already spent too much time on this waste.

Not Recommended.

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  • Greg

    Jamie’s character portrayal of a 12yr old waking up from coma is a cross between a mentally challenged kid and a 1st grader, it completely ruined the movie for me. The 12yr old in the beginning of the film talks normal, but I guess Jamie felt to dupe it a little.