You know a movie is in trouble when the studios call you and ask you to interview the star of the film months before it comes out without even screening it for you. That almost never happens; generally studios and publicists force you to see the film first – sometimes kicking and screaming with tears in your eyes. Not the case with Jamie Kennedy and his latest effort Kickin Old Skool. Before we begin, let me say I’ve always had a soft spot for Kennedy, I loved him in the Scream movies and Malibu’s Most Wanted has grown on me through its many showings on cable.
I love the concept of Kickin’, a 12 year old kid falls into a 20 year comma when he tries to do a complicated Break Dancing move. I mean really, it’s kind of amazing that more kids didn’t end up in comas or with broken necks doing half the things they do. The film’s opening sequence with the young Justin Schumacher (Alexander Calvert) and his boys the Funky Fresh Crew go up against his arch rival Kip.
Twenty years later he wakes from his comma, only to find out that the world has moved on. His crew are all overweight, out of shape (Taylor Beaumont), and hopeless. The one thing that hasn’t changed is Kip (Michael Rosenbaum) who still has everything, including Justin’s girlfriend, Jennifer Stone (Maria Menounos).
The acting in this is horrible – as expected, but not unwatchable. It has a few enjoyable moments – very few and they all involve Smallville’s Michael Rosenbaum who wakes you up and gets a chuckle out of you every time he’s on screen. But these moments are few and far between.
This film doesn’t deserve a long winded review, if you know Jamie Kennedy’s work then you know what to expect – a half assed, earnest effort that will trot out some tired jokes and eventually run out of steam. Kennedy has talent and is likable. He shines when you see him in small doses, but his gimmick doesn’t work well in full length films. Well, except for Malibu’s Most Wanted.
Final Grade C-
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Originally Posted 4/27/07