I don't see the Jamie Kennedy appeal. He just never came across as that funny to me. Unfortunately for him, he seems to prove he's not that funny with every new project.
When critics and the film going public look at naming the worst movie of 2007, there will be a lot of buzz around Kickin’ It Old Skool. It stars an actor, Jamie Kennedy, who routinely makes awful films, and is directed by Harvey Glazer, a music video veteran making his feature film debut. It relies on a lot of slapstick humor and references back to the 1980’s that will probably be lost on the teenage boys who make up the most likely audience of the movie. In short, it has all the makings of a colossal pile of crap.
Kennedy plays Justin Schumacher, first seen as a twelve year old break dancer (played by Alexander Calvert, who deserves better) competing with his “crew”, the Funky Fresh Boys, in a school talent show. Justin flips off the stage and lands in a coma that lasts twenty years. Finally awakening in a world that has moved past Michael Jackson jackets, Garbage Pail Kids, and Flashdance, Justin inexplicably retains the fashion sense, brainpower, and goals of a twelve year old boy from 1985. While Kennedy is supposed to play Justin as a confused coma survivor, he comes across as an annoying, unfunny idiot.
While in the coma, the girl that Justin liked in Jr. High, Jen (Maria Menounos), becomes engaged to jerk Kip (Michael Rosenbaum.) Kip, naturally, is running a television show that just happens to be looking for the next big dance act. The prize for winning is $100,000, something that Justin can use to save the house of his long suffering parents (Debra Jo Rupp and Christopher McDonald.) Quicker than you can say “we’re getting’ the band back together,” Justin has reunited the Funky Fresh Boys, one of each major ethnicity and as stereotypical as can be, and is getting back in break dancing shape.
The one saving grace of the film is that for anyone who was around in mid-80’s, there are some funny references in the film’s first 10 minutes. Also, there is some pretty fun and at times eye-popping dancing to watch, especially during the contest the makes up the last quarter of the movie. Everything else is flat out awful. Michael Rosenbaum, recognizable as Lex Luthor from “Smallville,” garners a few laughs by playing a sarcastic dick, but every other joke, character, and plot device is cringe inducing.
There isn’t too much that needs to be said about this film. Just explaining that it is Jamie Kennedy playing a guy stuck in the 1980’s will be enough to scare away 98% of all DVD renters. For the rest of you, it’s not a very good film, but if you really want to see some decent break dancing, you may find this worth watching with your finger firmly placed on the fast forward button.
The DVD is a bare bones affair that goes along with a low budget release that hardly anyone saw in the theaters and has limited chance of being a cult hit. Likely the only people remotely interested in picking it up are those few who consider themselves to be big Jamie Kennedy fans. Even that group is kinda getting ripped-off.
There is no commentary and I was very glad I didn’t have to sit through the movie again to listen to one. That said, a funny commentary would have been something to help save this DVD from the oblivion it is clearly headed towards. I would have loved to hear Michael Rosenbaum talk about his experiences in the film, which probably would have included comments like “I really, really needed a few bucks to pay the cable bill.”
So, after determining what there isn’t, let’s look at what is on the disc. There is a trailer and some deleted scenes. The scenes are no better (or worse) than the ones that ended up making it into the movie and you almost wonder why certain things were cut and others left in. Everything seemed random and it wasn’t like the stuff in the final cut was very funny. But playing “why’d they cut this but leave in that” only entertains you for a few seconds.
Those are the only extras and they comprise less than five minutes of additional material. Look, if you’re going to take some drugs and want to giggle at some 80’s flashback references, and you can get this for about a buck at a rental place, I say go for it. Other than that, please consider picking up one of the eight thousand more entertaining movies released in the last 50 years.