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STUDIO: Warner Brothers
RUNNING TIME: 102 Minutes
Old people want to drain your youth.
Slumming it between Hot Pockets.
Zac Efron, Matthew Perry, Leslie Mann, Thomas Lennon and Michelle Trachtenberg
17 Again is a decent attempt to cash in on the teen/babyboomer body switch fad. Zac Efron is a rising pop actor that can hold his own with the assorted television stars and second tier comedians populating the film. But, there’s nothing here that really tugs on the brain. Laughing at paper-thin incestual scenarios and role reversals is old hat. What’s left for this film to cover?
Mike O’ Donnell is the star basketball captain at his High School. It’s 1989 and he’s kicking all sorts of ass. Trouble comes in the form of his knocked up girlfriend who crushes his dreams and robs him of a future. Cut to the future, where the now-wife is getting ready to divorce his ass. His kids are douchebags and his old High School buddy is now a millionaire.
17 Again uses this as a jumping off point into the same ol’ shit you’ve seen before. Whether it’s George Burns, Dudley Moore or Judge Reinhold swapping bodies…it’s just more of the same. This time, you get to see Matthew Perry fall into a vortex that makes him young. It’s kind of like Enchanted, but without me talking about Amy Adams’ firecrotch.
Perry, Lennon and Efron hold their own with the lightweight material from Igby Goes Down director Burr Steers. It’s just that between the three plotlines, there’s no development shown to either one. Well, you could count Lennon’s character quest to screw the High School principal. But, I follow a simple rule about sex scenes. Tits or it didn’t happen.
Zac Efron will be the one that benefits most from the movie. He has shown acting chops and a sense of timing that I haven’t seen since 1983 era Tom Cruise. The movie nerds love to bash the guy for getting his start as a Disney moppet that bops around and sings annoying songs. But, you have to work the shit before you get the shinola. Does that forgive this film for being one more tired genre film piling onto a heap of ignored cinema? No.
17 Again is a film that comes to DVD looking as well as most recent cinema fares. There’s very little edge enhancement and background noise. Plus, the DD 5.1 soundtrack really pops across all channels. There’s a forced trailer at the start of the feature for Me and Orson Welles. Unfortunately, WB saw fit not to include any special features.
to you with no special features. Why buy it new? The second-hand market is booming due to opening week purchases of quickie Home Video dumps. The Zac Efron mob deserves some supplemental material. Hell, the Blu-Ray got some EPK material and featurettes. They couldn’t have done the same for the DVD?
Things must suck when even Buffy’s fake sister doesn’t want to be your beard.