Hello, Spongey here.
Recently I dedicated a whole month to DCOM’s. This was done cuz their latest about to premiere. Well, it’s been out for a month now, so that means I can finally review it.
I saw it live, and I gave my thoughts over twitter. But now it’s time to give it the whole review treatment.
You see, in 2007 Disney released Enchanted, a movie about a typical Disney princess who ends up in the real world. It was a good film that relentlessly spoofed classic Disney films, but it was also a great homage.
And Disney thought to themselves: “Hey, why not do the same for NEW Disney?!”
Thus, today’s movie was made. Right from the first announcement, I was excited for this movie. It seemed like a cool spoof of High school musical type films.
Whcih makes this film’s immense success quite interesting. It’s currently 3rd highest rated DCOM of all time, and It got as much rave from the teen as the other DCOM’s. So in a way. It kind of IS the sort of DCOM’s spoofed, while also spoofing it.
So again, it’s like Enchanted. However, this film still ended up being a cool homage and a cool parody. But just HOW good is it?
Well, that’s what I’m here to find out. From the director of the DCOM Geek Charming, comes this summer splash of a film.
This, is Teen Beach Movie
The movie opens with two teens surfing as some pop song plays in the background. It doesn’t count as a song, so it’s not song #1 yet. Afer that, they end up back on the beach ,and we are introduce to Brady, played by Austin and Ally’s Ross Lynch, and Mack, played by Maia Mitchell.
She is Australian, but you’d never tell cuz she does a damn good job at hiding it for 90 minutes.
Brady is the fun one, and Mack is the sort of fun but mostly serious one. They head back to this place they are staying out for the summer along with their grandfather, played by barry Bostwick.
Yes, Barry bostwick. But…much like a platypus, he does absolutely nothing. He has a few okay lines and he sort of starts the plot, but he never show ups again and he is given little to do. What a waste.
Barry is watching an old surf movie called “Wet Side story” which Brady loves. It looks incredibly cheesy, which is of course the point.
“Best movie ever made”
Does it have zombie killer Sushi? No? Then it’s not the best movie ever made. Mack thinks it’s stupid. So we have a cheesy musical unconsidered guilty pleasure by at least two people are sucked into it’s cheesy-ness, and one person who thinks it’s genuinely bad.
Hmmm..yep, this plays into an unintentional theme i’ll discuss later.
“A surfer guy and a biker girl share a love while trying to reunite their rivaling gangs as they try to stop an evil real estate mogul tries to turn their hangout into a resort, by building a weather machine to create a massive storm!”
Cliche plot AND the world’s most shoehorned in villain? I’M IN!
“Come on, they sing for no reason, they come out of the water and their hair is perfectly dry, the girls never surf as well as the boys, and they sing for no reason”
Lampshade hanging? In MY dcom? YES!!!!
Suddenly, they are visited by Mack’s aunt. She’s the buy “Always making work calls on her phone” type. She breaks the news that Mack is leaving tomorrow, but Brady’s sadness is interrupted by the Aunt bantering with Barry bostwick.
They also see an old surfboard, rumored to be a “magic” surfboard, that Barry has kept for years. Okay, he gives them the McGuffin surfboard, but after that, he’s gone.
Auntie says Mack is going off to some special college place, and she insists that this happen.
“Surf? Your new life begins tomorrow. Your endless summer is about to come to end”
So she’s that kind of aunt, but she’s not exactly…evil. At least not as evil as she could have been. Anyway, Mack has been trying to keep this leaving thing under wraps, in hopes that she could prevent it from happening.
But now Brady knows about it, so they discuss it outside. Mack says this college thing is the way to her future and her Mom wanted to her to be a great success and all that jazz.
Some people are mixed on the more dramatic element in what is otherwise an insane comedy. I think it works..okay in these early scene, but it might seem a tad forced to an extent. Once the story starts up, the drama works a lot better and these moments are better.
However, this dilemma is still…somewhat decent, and I’ve seen force ways to force Drama. Anyway, Mack actually wants to do this cuz she is conered for her future and stuff.
Brady is not happy. I should mention that they do have a “thing” but it’s actually well done as their status as friends is pushed more than the romance, but it’s obviously there.
They finnish their discussion, have a brief moment. The next morning, Mack goes out to have one last surf, using the magic surfboard of course. Brady shows up, cuz he knew she couldn’t stay away from surf like this. He is just gonna watch.
Even Barry Bostwick shows up to be useless! But he also points out that the sky is looking bad, and there may be a storm a brewing! But Mack can’t paddle back in cuz the stormy seas are making it hard to so….arggh.
So of course Brady goes in after here, but they both get washed up in the surf. The end! Nah, they emerge a moment later. Only things are…different.
For one, the storm is gone. They wash up on the beach, and see…that things are different. They notice…surfers….singing?
Yep, we’re up to song #1: Surf Crazy. I’ll spoil it for you and say they have been transported into Wet side story. We see the surfers arriving on the beach as they sing an insane number about how they are “surf” crazy and how much they love they beach.
It’s cheesy, over the top…and amazing. They took one of those High school musical type numbers and played it completely for laughs. It’s an insanely exaggerated number, serving as a spoof and a great homage. This sets the tone for the entire movie. You know how much I love the over the top HSM numbers, and this is an even more over the top version of one.
It has lyrics like “It’s a bikinki wonderland” which makes very little sense. But that’s part of the comedy, which is great. Brady gets wrapped up in all this and just decides to roll with it.
Behold, the stupidest yet best names EVER!
…Now that is a weird line. It doesn’t make any sense, and the way they say it makes it even funnier. It’s the “Girl you pterodactyl fly” of this movie. Okay, it’s not that bad.
It’s a great catchy opening number that sets the tone perfectly. Anyway, the song end.
MACK: …Well, that happened.
So the surfers, plus Mack and Brady, head into the local surf hangout known as Big Mamma’s. Brady tries to hit off with the surfers, but they have to do the whole “slang difference” gag first.
But before they can settle their differences, the bikers enter the hangout. The bikers and the surfers are in the middle of a little turf war over the hangout. The gang is called “The Rodents” and their leader is butchie, and another member is called Lugnut. Another is ChiChi. I like these names.
“Rodents! I thought I should have laid some traps!”
“I though you surfers was all washed up”
“You should make like the ocean and wave goodbye”
Yeah, when this movie isn’t straight up spoofing these kind of movies, they are exaggerating them a hilarious degree. It’s very delightful.
And now the bikers must show who is the boss…in song. Yep, we’re up to Song #2: Crusin’ for a bruisin’. Of all the “straight” songs, this is probably my favorite. It has the bikers going all out in this epic sort of rock tune, and it’s every bit as over the top as I could possibly want.
At one point, Brady decides to join in the song, cuz this is his favorite part of the movie. The movie should have been thrown off at this point, but whatever. The song is extremly fun and awesome, and it’s one of the film’s many highlights.
Don’t stop, stop the music.
We ride fast, like a bullet.
We do anything we want, anything we want. Oh yeah. Oh yeah.
We just ride, ride, ride all day.
We’re not gonna live, any other way.
No, we’re not gonna live any other way.
No, we’re not gonna live, any other way.
MACK:: You just couldn’t help yourself, could you?
I don’t blame him at all.’
“Remember that movie with the robot who drank liquid from an abandoned spaceship, turned into a vampire teacher and taught the entire school to salsa dance and won the regional championships? That made more sense than this?!”
Yeah, I might show off the amazing quotes a lot.
So the two ar stuck in a 1963 surf movie with no way out. Well except for the storm, which means they have to wait for the big storm at the end of the movie.
Then suddenly, the two are at a party that night with new outfits. Mack is confused.
“The magic of movies!”
Yep, they lampshaded transitions.
So anyway, the surfers are having a big party right now. Even a few of the bikers enter, with no one making a deal of it for some reason.
“How are we gonna get this place to be only for ourselves?’
“I think to think about it”
“How long is that gonna take?”
“Great, now I have 2 things to think about”
The bikers hang out at a both, along with Butchie’s sister Leela. She’s the female part of the in movie romance.
Then, Leela goes up on stage to sing, which leads to song #3: Falling for Ya. This is the point in Wet Side Story, where Leela and Tanner the surfer meet and fall in love. In the movie, this is a meaningless song about falling for a guy but it ironically ends up applying to her when sees Tanner.
This could have been a dull number, but it ends up being fairly catchy for it’s kind. Things go like in the movie but…then things change. Mack tries to leave to figure out a way back to the real world, but she bumps into Tanner.
So when Lela falls like in the movie, it’s Brady that catches her instead of Tanner. So Tanner ends up falling for Mack, and Lela falls for Brady. …Whoops.
“I’m Brady, Knight in shining board shorts”
“…That’s a really long last name”
Then suddenly, everything stops. The music stops and all the Wet side story characters look around like they have no idea what to do. The two quickly figure out what happened..
“We changed the movie!”
Dun dun dun! So going inside a movie and changing something will make it so everything stop and all the characters are confused? Cool!
So that’s our plot. Can it fill the rest of these 90 minutes? …Yep, for the most part. So anyway, the problem is that there’s a storm at the end of the movie, and throwing it off could prevent it. Thus, they can’t go back.
But there is a way. Remember the villain he mentioned? It’s time for him to show up! Brady explains that Les Camembert (THESE NAMES) know this land will be gold someday and he wants Big Momma to sell it to him, but no dice.
He wants to build an overprice resort, so he made that weather machine to get rid of everyone and all that. Brady leads Mack to his evil lighthouse lair.
He’s so evil he has a NOT welcome mat…with a key under it. So they head in and spy on our two villains: Les and Dr Fusion, played by Derek from I’m in the band, and Bertram from Jessie.
See, I knew Bertram was evil. But did anyone believe me? NO!
We see that are every bit as hammy and amazing as you would expect.
“And I shall triumph! Triumph I say!
This is this actor’s 4th time being a villain in a DCOM. He’s VERY good at being evil.
“You will have the last laugh!”
“I’ve always been rather wary of the last laugh. What if it was only moderately funny?”
Yeah, this movie has some of the best lines in DCOM history. Then to cap it off, Les starts to laugh, but Fusion also laughs. They both keep laughing until Les beats him by yelling “HAH!” Great twist on the whole evil laugh gag I always see
MACK: And this thing never won an oscar.
New best line. Anyway, Brady explains that Lela and Tanner find out what the plan, unite the bikers and surfers, break the machine, and cause that big storm.
Why Brady had to lead her over here to explain this is anyone’s guess, since he pulls her back to the beach a few moments later. Anyway, now they have to get Tanner and Lela to fall for each other, so they can get the plot back on course.
Mack goes to talk to Tanner, and he hits off with her to Mack’s dismay. At the same time, Brady talks to Lela who is getting into him. Brady tries to deflect her feelings, which isn’t working.
Mack tries the same with Tanner, but again, it’s not quite working. Eventually, Tanner decides to write a song for Mack on the fly. Which means we got to hear song #4:Meant to be. It starts as a slow song, but picks up as it switches between tanner singing to Mack and Lela singing to Brady.
This is the weakest song in the movie, but it’s stll good. It’s a love-y song but at least it’s somewhat catchy and better than most love songs in a DCOM. But due to it’s status, it’s a tad more forgettable than the others.
At least it’s pretty enjoyable in the moment, so it’s not even “alright”, it’s flat out GOOD. After the song, their plan didn’t go well, so it’s time for plan B. The biker girls are gonna have a slumber party that night, while the surer boys are gonna hang at big mama’s.
So Mack will go with the bikers, while Brady will hang with the surfers. But then Mack notices that her surfer outfit she left on a thingy has vanished in front of their eyes.
Brady says that her outfit didn’t exist back in the 60’s, so it doesn’t believe here. Thus, it vanished. Which means…it will also happen to them. Great Scott Marty, I mean mack!
Music starts playing, untl Mack yells that it’s not a song, so it stops. 4th wall break for the win! So anyway, Mack attends the slumber party, which as you expect, has hot chicks being girly. The girls are of course interested in what a boy thinks of her (cuz 60’s) and Mack isn’t happy with this.
“It’s your life, you can decide what to do”
Which I guess plays into the theme of destiny, so this isn’t a useless scene. Back at Big Momma’s, the boys are hanging our. Brady sees Discount Corbin Bleu, I mean seacat…doing something.
“It’s this game I play, where I shoot stuff, and I try to hit that angry bird”
…really? Not only Is that a lame “durr get it it’s something they don’t know cuz it’s the past” joke, but there are no other jokes like it. So it sticks out like a sore thumb in a sea of good jokes.
Brady talks to Tanner about girls, and asks what he likes in a girl. Cue song #5: Like Me. The boys sing about what they like in a girl and that girls like boys like them, while the girls do the same thing…but about boys liking girls like them.
During this, Brady and Mack both sing the proper way to get a member of the opposite sex. This another very catchy song that has plenty of good things in it. It’s not quite as funny as Surf Crazy or as epic as Cruisin’ For a Bruisin’, but maybe it’s a tad better than the former. I like how it switches one party to the other, and how it just flows fo well.
Plus, there’s plenty of fan service with the hot chicks. The best part is the ending, when 3 of the chicks, and 3 of the guys sing the chorus in a epic way while the guys bob their heads in a really weird way.
After the song, the girls give Mack a more flattering outfit as the movie makes them cut to the next day. So their plan failed yet again, and Mack thinks they can’t get Tanner and Lela together.
“Every minute i’m here, i’m doing what my mom wanted me to do”
So we’re back to that.
“What’s your hurry to grow up, and leave?”
Oh, the 2nd DCOM I found with a growing up message? It’s not anywhere near as good at at2d’s of course…
But Brady cuts it off, as he says they should continue their plan and try to get Tanner and Lela to know each other as people and whatever. How will they do that? They have no idea.
Mack hangs with Tanner alone. He admits that bikers aren’t that bad but, as he says, their conflict is “sort of what everyone expects”.
Here’s something they could have expanded on. From what he says, it seem like they don’t want to do this stuff, but do it cuz some writer is making them do it. I wish that expanded on THAT sort of dilemma, but it’s okay. It leads into the whole destiny/do what you want lesson they are going for, so it’s fine.
“You’re a pretty smart guy”
“Yeah, but more pretty”
And less smart.
Later, Mack hangs with Lela, and she admits she’s homesick, which Lela thinks it means she is sick of HER home. Yeah, the movie with in a movie leads are like Troy and Gabriela with Brain damage. Well, more brain damage anyway.
Anyway, the two friends chat like normal until Lela admits that she wants to surf. Le gasp! Of course this is frowned upon, but this is what she wants.
“Never let anyone tell you what you can or can’t do in life”
And we’re back to that, as she tells Lela she should surf. She tells her that Brady could teach her, and that she should go stand on the beach after the transition.
She meets up Tanner, and asks him to talk a walk on the beach in ..that direction. So now their plan is starting to come together.
Speaking of plans, let’s get back to Les and Bertram. As Les says, this machine will cause’ enough Hoomudity to get rid of these bikers and surfers.
Okay, but who’s on first? So they turn on the machine, and the two villains…just hang out.
“Your mother must be so proud”
“I’m just like her you know. I even have her eyes…Of course, I let her keep the rest of her face. We only got one mother”
So now they must magnify the power of the machine. Of course the have 2 hours for their Plutonium to get to a boiling point they can use. So the two bad guys head out to see the effect the machine had on the water.
Mack and Brady bump into each other as they saw the machine zapping the water. Mack falls in the water, but when she gets out…her hair is perfectly dry.
“We’re morphing into the movie!”
DUN DUN DUN! But wait, the movie is a musical so…
“I can’t stop singing!”
“I can’t STOOOOOP!”
Oh joy. Wait…that means …song#6:Can’t stop singing. This is, by far, the best song in movie. It’s a very catchy about how the two can’t help but sing. Mack wants to stop brady is getting into. This represent the insane self aware-ness that I love about this movie.
Just close your eyes if you don’t wanna see
What’s this choreography?
And that’s not even the best line!
It’s just a song/ An Efficient way to move the story along.
Lines like that are what makes this the best song/ Plus, it’s catchy. Anyway, after the song, the two teens are now worried that will be stuck in the movie forever if they don’t get out soon.
“We have to get Lela and Tanner back together. Make them find out about Les’s machine, and unite the surfers and bikers”
“Oh no, we’re talking in plot points!”
So many amazing lines…
And just like that, the bad guys show up behind them.
“I know Karate! …and like two other Japanese words”
Indeed. Anyway, before anything helps happen ,we cut to Tanner and Lela as they bump into each other, and hit it off. Lela reveals she likes to surf.
“It’s like riding a cloud, only the cloud is water”
Like I said, brain damage.
“You know what? I like motorcycles”
“Are you serious?”
“No, I’m tanner”
He is serious and don’t call him Tann-wait that’s so his name, so yeah, call him Tanner. Their combined turgidity makes them the perfect couple.
Which leads into a reprise of Meant to be. After that, they try to find Mack but only find her necklace, which she would never take off. So they run to get help.
Anyway, Mack and Brady are capture and taken to the villain’s lair. Which leads to what is now, without question, the best line in the movie…
“In mere moments, in less time than it takes for me to steal this scene…”
YES. YES . YES!
“Well, there’s one flaw to your plan”
“What might that be?’
“..I don’t know. Isn’t there always a flaw with these these kind of plans?”
Stop with the amazing lines!
The villains do that Austin powers evil laugh gag, which is funny in this context. Man, these guys are awesome. They actually did make a villain song for them…but it cut for some ungodly reason. I hear it’s on the DVD, which I do not have.
So Tanner and Lela somehow figure Les’s whole plan and tell the surfers and bikers that Mack and Brady got captured. They say their only hope is to work together.
They go through the “bikers and surfers can get along” speech, which works since we know it’s for the sake of parody. Plus, it’s still a fine lesson.
So with that, The bikers and Surfers agree to forget their differences and team up. Nice, now back to Mack and Brady.
“At least my favorite movie wasn’t Tarantulas on a train”
But now it’s back to Mack’s plight, as she admits she honestly doesn’t want to do what her Aunt wants her to do.
“I’ve spent this entire movie telling Lela to follow her heart, and she did”
So now Mack is glad she came, as she realized what she must do.
“You were right. What’s the hurry to grow up?’
See, it works better here than earlier, cuz they make it fit better with the story. It’s not the most complex thing to be found in a DCOM but it still works to make things legit instead of just shits and giggle. That’s why scenes like this are here, and they at least pulled it off okay.
They sing ANOTHER reprise of Meant to be, only it’s slower and not as good. After that, they pretty much TELL Bertram that he’s the stereotypical villain in a movie.
“I’m nothing but a flicker on a silver screen?”
I love that they try to stop the villain by telling him he’s just a bad stereotype. Anyway, the surfers and bikers quickly storm the place, while a mash up of Surf Crazy and Cursin’ for a Bruisin’ plays.
Talk about a COWABUNGA ATTACK, eh?
As it turns out, a bunch of surfers and bikers ARE a match for a snooty British guy and Bertram, as they run all crazy like.
This isn’t the most epic climax, but it IS a climax, which puts it above say, Zenon or Halloween Town 2. The mash up playing all this shit happens is sort of awesome, after all.
They quickly make work of the machine, tie the villains up, and run away. So the machine blows up and the villains fly up in a really bad effect. And so they end up on a piece of wood in the water, drifting away.
“I’m not sure I like the way this movie ends”
Bertram explains the concept to Les as they float away. So the last we see the villains, they are left to contemplate their existence. Damn.
So that was a surprisingly easy way to take them out…but I’ll take it.
With the movie back on track, Mack and Brady are transported to where they need to be with new clothes. The surfers and bikers show up to wish them goodbye, as they must leave.
It’s all sweet and awesome and stuff. They all say their goodbyes to the Wet Side Story characters as the storm arrives and the two get on their magic surfboard.
How does that thing work anyway? Does it take people into movies? Does it just…do whatever it wants to do.
LINKARA: It’s magic, I don’t have to explain it.
Whatever. Wait, question: While they were in the movie, messing it up…does anyone who is watching that movie in the real world see all that crap? Then again, no one else watches other than the useless Barry bostwick.
And with that, the two are back in the real world, exactly as they left it. Brady heads back to shore, as Mack rides that huge wave she was trying to catch before.
After that, she heads back to shore and everyone is happy, even Barry Bostwick. Thanks for nothing. Gramps. But wait, the Aunt is back, as they are late for their flight.
So now Mack tells her she appreciates the sentiment, but she wants to be happy doing what SHE wants to do. She doesn’t even bash Aunt, she just says she wants to be here for high school and stuff.
“When I decide, it’ll be my choice”
So it’s now “Screw the future”. It’s “do what you think is right”. Take THAT, High school musical 2! It’s a worthwhile message, and plays into the theme of destiny and whatever.
“Fine, have it your way. You are headstrong, like your Grandfather”
Huh, that was easy.
“You know what we should do?”
Yep, they have a big song…in the real world…somehow. So they sing Song#7: Surf’s Up. At first it seems like Surf crazy again, but it’s actually a different song. It’s pretty catchy and fun, and makes for a perfect ending song.
It’s at this point that Mack finally gets into the awesome of it all, and headlines this song with everyone else. Oh, and remember how Mack said “I’m mack?’ earlier? Well, she does it again…only better.
Well, more confident anyway.
So they finish and…Roll credits. Well, it was a better wrap up than most DCOM’s, so I can live with that. But wait, there’s a stinger!
The Surfers and bikers rise from the ocean…in the real world. How did they get there? I have no idea. But they end up on the beach, and bump into some dude. Then, they see the real world has the sciarest thing imaginable..
Justin Bieber. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
As far as DCOM’s go, this up with 16 Wishes as one of the best recent ones. The concept is great, and they pull it off very well.
The best aspect is how they make fun of old school musicals, while also paying homage to them. It’s very silly, over the top, and even clever at times.
They manage to make it flow well too, as it is rarely gets boring, and the sheer absurdity carries it. The film is about 90 minutes, but aside from maybe the start, I never had to check my watch.
It’s just really funny, and it was a good choice to make this a flat out comedy. Stuff like Let it shine has it’s amusing moments, but it’s mostly melodramatic. So I’m glad this ended up being one of the funniest DCOM’s in awhile.
Most of the characters, like the movie within a movie ones, are funny, memorable, and of course likable. The leads are likely the weak links in this regard, but they are very likable and easy to latch onto. Brady doesn’t get much to do, but he is funny, and Mack makes up for it.
The actors are very good at being over the top, especially the villains. On top of that, the 7 songs are all very good, even the love-y one. Of course Can’t stop singing is the best, but the rest are all fun.
They were composed by the same guy who composed the score/songs for High school musical, which explains a lot. He even wrote “Surf Crazy” and “Meant to be”. Weird how he wrote the weakest song in this film, since for HSM 2 we wrote FABULOUS.
I suppose the only weak link is the more dramatic element. It works fine but it can prevent someone from getting into the movie. They had to make things actually legit so It works as a movie rather than just a comedy. Early on it’s a bit wonky, but later in a gets better.
So I was okay with that. But you wanna know why this film actually gets to me, in a good way? Well, you see, what they did is take a film like HSM, which I see for the amazing guilty pleasure it is…and exaggerate it so much that even those who would find it actually bad get into it’s amazing bad-ness.
Then they put two normal people inside it, and made fun of it. One of them is like me, getting into, while the other sees it as genuinely bad. But as soon as things heat up, Mack gets into it, just like the people who were skeptical about this movie.
So this movie speaks to me in a way I didn’t’ even realize until I thought about it. It’s not exactly deep or anything…which means I may like 16 wishes more. Call that blasphemy, but that’s what I think.
However, this is pretty close as it’s fun, funny, and just…really good.