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The Independent Critic

Jamie Kennedy, Maria Menounos, Christopher McDonald, Vivica Fox
Harvey Glazer
Trace Slobotkin, Josh Siegal
Rated PG-13
107 Mins.
Yari Film Group Releasing
 "Kickin' It Old Skool" Review 
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Kickin' It Old Skool," the latest flick starring America's favorite unfunny comedian/actor/perpetual Razzie nominee Jamie Kennedy...well, I guess I should just be straight up with ya..."Kickin' It Old Skool" just plain sucks.

I know. I know. I'm surprised, too. I mean, after all, this is Jamie Kennedy. THE Jamie Kennedy...the same Jamie Kennedy who was so darn wonderful in "Malibu's Most Wanted."

What's that you say?

Oh, yeah. Right. "Malibu's Most Wanted" sucked, too. So, if I'm thinking clearly some big studio honcho greenlighted this magnificent film which basically takes the rap shtick of "Malibu's Most Wanted" and transplants it into this 80's rip-off, breakdancin' piece of cinematic crap (Wouldn't it be cool if that quote ended up on a movie poster somewhere, or maybe even the DVD that should be out within a couple months?).

In "Kickin' It Old Skool," Kennedy plays Justin Schumacher, a 1980's breakdancing wonderboy who hits his head during a talent show and slips into a coma. He wakes up 20 years later and the musical stylings around him have changed.


Admit it. This even sounds like a retread. Don't think about "Big." This film doesn't begin to compare with the Hanks film..."13 Going on 30" maybe? Sigh. Even that modest excuse for a film outshines this flick. In "Kickin' It Old Skool," dare I say that Kennedy acts like he's been kicked in the head one too many times?

Destined for a spot on my Bottom 10 for 2007, I dare predict yet another Razzie nomination for Kennedy this year (following last year's nomination for "Son of the Mask"). Director Harvey Glazer, in his feature film debut, may very well be headed for another first...his first Razzie nomination.

"Kickin' It Old Skool" is a relative raunch-fest filled with silly, not even quite schoolboy sex jokes (for a film with a PG-13 clearly aimed at preteen boys), tired 80's jokes, mind-numbingly long and monotonous breakdance routines and Jamie Kennedy.

This is not a recipe for film success.

Even the lamest teen sex comedy can occasionally become a guilty least when left in the hands of a decent actor willing to become goofy, edgy, embarrassing or to take a few changes onscreen. However, Kennedy has yet to prove himself an actor and, thus, the majority of his whole age-regression act consists of stupid grins, silly faces and infantile idiocy.

Are you starting to get the point that I hated this film?

Actually, I don't suppose it's really JUST about this film. It's about the timing. I viewed "Kickin' It Old Skool" smack dab in the middle of my viewings for the Indianapolis International Film Festival. I've seen about 12 festival films so far, several of which qualify as paltry budgets compared to this major studio production. 11 of the 12 films I've seen are considerably better than this film.

Thus, I suppose what I hate is an industry that continuously churns out crap like "Kickin' It Old Skool" while magnificent films like the lovely "Midlothia" or "Son of Man" will be fortunate to even find a distributor.

So, I wasted two hours out of my day at the film festival to watch this flick instead of spending my time chatting with independent filmmakers, watching high quality/low budget films, and actually being entertained or informed or moved or challenged or left in awe.

Of course, I suppose that sort of applies here..."Kickin' It Old Skool" was, indeed, Awful!

The supporting cast, mostly of unknowns with a few "B"-listers thrown in, struggles just as much as Kennedy here including Maria Menounos, Bobby Lee, Miguel Nunez, Aris Alvarado along with brief appearances by Vivica Fox, David Hasselhoff, Emmanuel Lewis, Michelle Trachtenberg, Alan Ruck and uncredited appearances (smart guys) by Erik Estrada, John Ratzenberger and even Roddy Piper.

Trust me. Reading the list of actors was more entertaining than 95% of the film.

"Kickin' It Old Skool" does manage, just slightly, to not receive a failing grade. The film has a modestly and deceptively entertaining opening scene and, yes, a couple of the laughs do manage to work.

Nothing else works.

"Kickin' It Old Skool." Hmmmm. Seldom has being in a coma sounded so appealing.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic