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Review

'Kickin' It Old Skool' should be kicked out

May 4, 2007

Right now, I could be using this space to whip up a sentence or two about the tricky art of comedy, using an array of fancy words and descriptions that only go to show that I know my way around a thesaurus. But, in writing a critique of the new comedy "Kickin' It Old Skool," there's no getting around one plain, simple and obvious fact: this movie just sucks. Hard.

In 1986, 12-year-old Justin Schumacher and his friends, together known as the Funky Fresh Boyz, dominated the break dancing scene. That is, until during a school talent show, Justin popped and locked his way right off the stage and into a coma.

Twenty years later, Justin (played in grown-up form by Jamie Kennedy) awakens to find that the world is an incredibly different place, that He-Man and "Star Search" have taken a back seat to iPods and "American Idol." After reuniting with his childhood sweetie (Maria Menounos), Justin decides to try to win her heart and pay off his massive medical bills by entering a break dance competition with a prize of $100,000. All he has to do is bring back the out-of-shape Boyz and update their old-school skills to blow away the competition.

Words really can't describe exactly how a movie like "Kickin' It Old Skool" put me in as foul a mood as it did. One would have to see the movie to get a real idea of what I'm talking about - but on the downside, that means actually having to sit through this painfully unfunny pile of cinematic rat droppings. The whole flick is a long, painful nostalgia trip that makes me wish the '80s never happened.

Whether the movie is a result of the resurgence of dance movies or America's growing preoccupation with all things '80s (how else do you think a "Transformers" movie got the green light?), "Kickin' It Old Skool" is liable to put the final nail in the coffin for both cases.

The mere look of the movie is enough to put one at ease, a comedy made on the cheap without the slightest bit of effort put in to make it any good at all. The script is a slipshod mix of lame gags, '80s references and a story that leads into an agonizingly long break dance competition.

The story stinks, the script is an unfunny shambles and Kennedy's performance is just slightly more tolerable than his turn in the downright ghastly "Son of the Mask."

The movie's only saving graces are some all right dance moves and Pink Sushi, an incredibly hot crew of break dancing Japanese women who provide just enough eye candy to distract me from wanting to slit my wrists with my nachos.

While not the year's worst movie thus far ("Because I Said So" staked that claim back in February), "Kickin' It Old Skool" is a pathetic and lifeless excuse for a comedy that definitely makes the list. Movies like this make Jesus cry.

A.J. Hakari is a student at UW-River Falls.

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