Hello, Spongey here.
Remember when I reviewed Clockstoppers a few months ago? Of course you do. In that review, I talked about the cinema of the early 2000’s and how I enjoyed that one because of how it was wrapped up in the clichés of that era.
That was a very experiment time for film and some stuff worked, and some…didn’t. Kids movies had their own odd set of cliché, just like they did in the 90’s and they do today. Like some people, I have a soft spot for these kind of movies, if only cuz I grew up around that time.
I understand some people cannot stand some of these, and even I have my limits. Hell, I said admitted Clockstoppers isn’t “good’, and it just barely got my enjoyment. I bring all this up because today, we have a 2001 flick that falls under this category.
And it’s truly something. I’ve been wanting to review this since I watched it on a whim but I didn’t get the chance until now. I wanted to do back during my own move, but I got stuck with Fairly odd summer instead. Boo.
I remember seeing ads for this movie whenever it would play on Disney Channel, and I was always interested in it, even though they blatantly spoiled the big mid movie twist. Oops.
Like I said, this was one of the money early 2000’s kids movies that basically showed off stuff kids love and got weak critical reviews. This one faired a bit better than some of those others, as most people see it as fine, thanks to certain elements.
And today we’ll see why that is. Our director is none other than the genius behind Hop and Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas ever. Obviously we’re in good hands. As for out 3 writers, we have people behind The spy Next door, and one of those Larry the cable guy movies no one saw.
No comment, cuz I haven’t seen them. So without further idea, let’s just take a peek at this movie and see if it’s any good.
This, is Max Keeble’s Big Move
The movie opens with our titular hero, played by the Twerp from Home Alone 3, in a fantasy sequence where he’s a big epic hero…who is actually just a paper boy. He faces one of his greatest enemies: The Ice Cream Man, played by Jamie Kennedy. Yeah, I knew the owner of that mask demon baby was evil.
This opening scene gives you a taste of what this movie is like. It’s incredibly cheesy and over the top….but quite enjoyable because of how crazy it is. The actor cereaintly sounds like he’s having fun and he’s not the only actor like that in here.
And of course he has to get a kiss from his crush, and yep he wakes up at this point. This is the first of quite a few used cliches in this movie.
“I was a player with phat attitude. Or as I like to call it, phatitude’
We then meet his parents. His mom is obssesed with…stuff, and his Dad is the Dad from Lizzie McGuire. He narrators this inofrmatino to us by the way. No, we’re not playing the early 2000’s kids movie drinking game.
He leaves for school and we meet his weird male friend Robert, played by Josh Peck. Huh, this is a Disney movie, not a nick one. Speaking of Nick connections, Max’s female friend, and thus Josh’s friend is named Megan.
Yeah. Also, she’s the tough one because of course she is. Max is worried about his image and wants to be cool as he enters Jr High. The cliches are really piling. Speaking of which, we get an early 2000’s rock song in the background!
As Max arrives at school we meet Principal Jimdrake, played by Larry Miller. And oh my god, he is by far the best part of this movie. He is amazing in this, being incredibly over the top and hilarious.
He knows he’s in a dumb kids movie so he’s just gonna have fun with it. He’s the whole reason I will go easy on this thing. He is a big evil douche hwo wants to be a big higher up and these kids will likely stop him from achieving his goal. See, if you did play the drinking game, you would be dead by now.
Our next cliché on the list of the bully, who is in this case is Troy, who plans to pick on a kid every day and Max is his first target. We cut to him in class as Lil’ Romeo makes a cameo…because…reasons. Anyone remember him? He had a show on Nick for 5 minutes? ..No, just me?
We move on to the next period so Josh can have a crush on the teacher because ew. But we just cut to our love interest we can peer at a teenage girl for a bit. This is Jenna and I want you to guess how the arc with here goes down. Chances are, you will be right.
Max bumps into Troy and he reveals how he became a bully. At Max’ s 4 birthday party, they were visited by an entertaining dressed as a tv character Troy was afraid of. He didn’t react well to this, and the other kids mocked him for it. Well, I blame the douche-y kids for being douches and anyone who didn’t stand up for him or anything.
Plus that thing is pretty freaky.
Troy bullies him in a dumb way because movie bullies can’t ever just beat someone up like a normal person. While that is going on, we have a school asssambel where Jindrake announces that the Superintendent is coming.
“i will upgrade our policy of zero tolerance to…sub zero tolerance which is more than zero.”
This guy is amazing.
He then presents a new football staidun for the actually “important” and popular kids. Max comes in fresh from his beating which involved being dunk’d in mud. Naturally no one happens to be there to see any of this happen.
Jindrake reacts amazingly to this and forces Max to sit, thus embrassing himself. Max washes himself up after this, of own accord because the school was just gonna let him be dirty all day for some reason.
Because two cliché villains wasn’t enough, we have another one in the form of a former rich kid obsessed with business and getting rich. He is played by Eddie from That’s So raven, which makes everything he does even more amazing. There’s no need for him with two perfectly fine villains but ah well.
After a meeting with him, Jindrake pops up to tell Max he does not encourage horseplay.
“I Ex-courage it”
After that pointless bit, we go to Band which Max is in cuz Jenna is there. This class doesn’t hace much room because the school spends more money on sports than the arts. Because of course they do. Christ, this is almost every cliché they could fit in.
Next, Max visits a zoo or something because he is buddy buddy with one of the monkeus. However , the place is closing down because someone bought the land. Yep, pile on another cliché, I love it.
At least Max’s Day can’t get worse.
He just got here and they are moving on friday. On such short notice. Yeah like always, doing that is a great idea. It’s for work reasons and Max is completely fine with this and moves on with his li-okay I can’t type that with a straight face.
The next day Max bumps into the ice cream man, who is real and somehow just as evil as in the fantasy. He hates him cuz of a reason I won’t get into, but is kind of of legiit but also dumb enough for me to say he’s a bad guy.
At school, Gordo from Lizzie McGuire makes a breif cameo in the backgrond. No seriously, I don’t usually notice this stuff gut it’s so obviously that actor. Is he pissed Max took his friends Dad?
Then we find out Jindrake is the one buying up the land where that animal shelter is because of course he is. He calls Max out after seeing a save the animal shelters flier even though he has to reason to think he is behind this. He isn’t, Megan is.
Troy’s next target is Josh so he traps him in some trophy case or something. How did he do that with no seeing this or trying to stop him? So far, we’re see no one in the hall ways in this school besides the kids!
Then he picks on Max with the help of Eddie because we need more proof that life sucks. They mess with him a way that involves him being covered in a substance, in this case water, and he is embarrassed upon arriving at the place he is supposed to be.
Didn’t we just do this?
Max decides that since he’s moving on Friday, he’ll just do what he wants and any trouble won’t stick. Unless, you know they call his parents and they get mad or something. They don’t because everyone that isn’t in our main gang is an idiot or jerk.
So Max devises an epic revenge plan to get back at the bullies so we an go out with a bang. Yeah, that’s our plot. Not a bad one, I suppose.
The friends are skeptical about this but are on board anyway. First, he switches out Eddie’s briefcase with another one, then he makes it so Troy hears the theme of that scary TV character when he opens his locker.
Max takes some pheromone stuff from the life science room, and then Eddie opens his new briefcase to find his hand-held thingy missing. Things seem to coming together but let’s have a “sweet” scene with Dad first to break things up. Its not too bad of a moment I suppose.
This scenes pretty much establishes a moral that you have to stand up for what is right and stop bad people. We’ll see how this pans out later. Max replaces Jindrake’s breath spray with pheromone’s. This is followed a quick “sweet” scene with Mom so we can be redundant.
So now it’s time for the plan to take effect. First up is Troy and…it’s interesting. A guy in the suit of that scary character pops up in the gym and scares the ever loving crap out of him.
We don’t see the results of that for a sec so i’ll talk about it in a bit. Fist, The Superintendent shows up so we get more of Larry Miller being amazing and desperate. Then after that we see Troy huddled up a corner.
“It’s gonna eat me”
….That’s…incredibly horrifying. This isn’t just dumb revenge, this is insanely cruel and harsh! You are using the very legitimate reason he became a bully as your revenge. That’s just cruel!
The rest of this isn’t as cruel but….yikes!
Back with Jindrake, he is attacked by a squirrel and flays wildly while the Superintendent does not see or heart it because comedy. Then at lunch Max starts a huge Foodfight. I imagine Larry Miller will faint at this but not for the reasons the characters expect.
He does get pissed at this but keeps a cool head about it around the Superintendent guy and demands to know the culprit. Then he’s attack by a monkey because Comedy. With that, Jindrake’s dreams are ruined, so that’s most of the revenge done.
Also, Troy is talking to the Consuqler about the trauma he went through. ….Comedy? Eddie and Ice Cream get messages about going to the dump to get a thing back and they meet up.
It doesn’t go well, and just as the battle of the century is going on, Max has some construction thingy pick up the ice cream truck and dumps it’s content on them. Because that thing is lyng around for a kid to use who just happens to know how to use it.
So this revenge is cool and all, but Jindrake is the only who desveres the magnuitude he got. The others got way too much as they were just kind of jerk-y, not pure evil. The guy who takes funds away from arts and only cares about his own gain is the one who needs to be traumatized!
Speaking of which, the Conseuler asks Troy if his trauma is caused by something and-
Dun dun dun.
Max runs into Jenna who asks him to come hang out. A Brittany spears song appears every time she appears by the way, because 2001. Max goes with her and becomes rather popular with her and her friends. This causes him to forget to show up to a thing with his friends.
Crap, this cliché? Do we even need it in this kind of story that’s about revenge? It’s for forced on top of just being very cliché. Besides, he missed one friend-date because one chick asked him to hang out, it’s not a huge indication of any attitude change. It’s only kind of connected to the whole revenge stuff.
Anyway, Josh and Megan find out about this and get pissed. Also, Josh tells us that Megan likes him because of course she does. Well, we have our forced dramatic moment at least.
Later at home, Dad pops in with good news.
“We’re not Moving”
Oh my god that’s a huge big twist that totally wasn’t spoiled in the trailer. Seriously even back in 2001 they did this stuff. Yeah, Dad told his boss off and was able to stay here. I’m sure the movie will explain why Dad standing up is good and Max doing so is bad…cuz Max did it in a dick way. There, I just did it, let’s go home.
Now Max must suck it up and go back to school and face the music. Which is kind of good because he finds out he left some damage like his friends now being bullied every day by Troy for what Max did. Eddie, Jindrake, and Ice Cream are all extra dick-ish as well. I can at least see why Max didn’t quite think of this outcome.
Jindrake is the worst of them all due to finding out Max moved and banning pretty much all fun due to his antics. Max bumps into the janitor and asks for advice. He basically tells him to fix the mess he created. Got nothing to add to that.
Max takes over the principal’s office and broadcasts a message apologizing for being a dick. At least he’s owning up to his mistakes. Jindrake naturally busts in and gets amazingly angry.
Max calls him out for the dirty things he has done, and he confess to it. Let me guess: His confession is broadcasted by accident? …Yep. I didn’t even have to have seen this before to guess it, its just that predictable.
All is not rosey because the animal shelter is being torn down today and Max is locked in some room. He did think this plan through, did he? He escapes so he can meet with the bullies. Also, the janitor locks Jindrake in that room when he checks for Max.
You are amazing.
Max’s friends show up to stand up for him. The epic stand off involves all of the kids showing up whilist performing We’re Not gonna take it. Which is kind of awesome. Because 1 ton of little kids usually takes down two big ones, they win and start to throw them in the dumpster.
However, Max calls them off, and says that this revenge is bad because it makes them the same as the bullies. This applies to Max’s big revenge as well. Holy crap, they teach the prope moral instead of letting the morailty get out of whaxck?
I’m shocked, I was sure they would do the opposite given the quality of the scrpt. How come a lot of better products get this wrong and this gets it right? Granted when they are let go, they land in the dumpster anyway but…whatever.
Max gets some approval from this, and even Jenna asks him out. He declines having learned his lesson about cliché non love interests. Now he can get with Megan who he has not been romantic with at all!
But first, Jindrake escapes and starts to attack the animal shelter. Oh yeah, there’s that subplot. Seems pointless in hindsight. Max takes a stand while riding an ostrich.
The animals stand up and chase him out of their home, creating the most epic battle between animals and Larry Miller ever put on screen. With that, the day is saved. Hmm…almost a decent climax. Just needed a better defeat on Jindraike, whose name I keep butchering.
Max narrates to us about the wrap up because of course he does. The animal shelter is saved, Jindrake is fired, and Max is happy with his life now that the bullies have been taken down.
…Except Ice Cream man. He never got taken care of, making him a pointless character. Oh wait, he pops up to give us a lame freeze frame shot to end on!
….Yeah, really abrupt ending. One of the weaker ones we’ve seen In a awhile, with all the usual problems it adds to the story. Yawn. At least things were resolved okay.
This film is not good…but I certainly enjoys it. Like Clockstoppers, this one is early 2000’s that it’s really enjoyable because of how cheesy it is. And while that one is slightly better written, I actually liked this one more because of how over the top it is.
It has almost every cliché you can think of, it just lacks a ton of punk rock songs. There’s only like 1 or two. But it has everything else you need for an early 2000’s kids movie. On the legitimately positive side, most of the acting is fine, the soundtrack is good, and there’s at least some kind of good moral in there.
The script itself is not exactly story focused which does lead to some problems. The story is rushed and things just come and go very quickly. Max has to move because reasons but now he doesn’t because other reasons. Max has to deal with the falling in with the popular crowd cliché but nope, he’s fine now. A lot of the cliches are poorly handled and forced.
Subplots just kind of drop at the end like the ice cream man and the animal shelter thing. But this movie is mostly focused on over the top Comedy and that fantasy of wanting to get revenge with no consequences.
It still has legit issues but on that level it’s fine. As a cheesy kids movie, it’s a ton of fun because of how over the top and stupid it is. The acting of the villains helps too, Especially Larry Miller. He’s clearly a lot of fun with this role and he alone makes it watchable.
So like Clockstoppers, if you wanna make fun of a dumb early 2000’s movie, go ahead. It’s not exactly good but it’s worth checking out for how dumb and cheesy it is. I love early 2000’s kids movies and how dumb they are.
I’m gonna have to do Big Fat Lair at some point to complete the trilogy, but for now, this one is dumb fun even if there are better options out there.
Next time, we revisit Adam Sandler. …Don’t worry, this one isn’t bad just…flawed.