Marty Wolf: You can take it from me, the truth, it’s overrated.
Beware: Spoilers may follow.
Kids’ movies are certainly an interesting bunch: Some talk down to kids, some actually treat them like they have intelligence, and some are stuck in between. This is one of those movies. It has a nostalgic following and while I saw it in my older years it definitely proves to be an adequate nickelodeon film and a enjoyable kids movie.
The story involves young Jason Shepherd who sets out to prove that a big Hollywood producer Marty Wolf stole his class paper and is intent on making it into a big movie. With the help of his friend Kaylee, Jason goes through a series of pranks and ruses to make it big in the entertainment industry and take down Wolf.
The story to take down Wolf is mostly composed of stereotypical and juvenile humor. And from the moment Jason and Kayley head to Hollywood you really have to throw anything resembling reality out the window. The attempts to foil Marty really aren’t more than young wishful thinking. In fairness there are a couple of juvenile jokes that really get a laugh. One of them being the one thing everyone remembers about this movie involving Wolf literally becoming blue and the computer and electrical systems of this car being rebooted. They’re just so unique in visuals and the two go hand in hand perfectly. And the story even at its most juvenile has charm not only through its leads but also the fact that it knows how to keep itself level headed. It knows how far too push its goofiness and never goes off the cliff.
One of the other big aspects of the story involve Jason and Kayley going around a safe house in the Universal back lot filled with extras in all sorts of costumes and props for their antics. This is also the studio that distributed the movie so it was quite clever way for them to save money by doing this and there’s a fair bit for movie buffs to spot in those scenes.
Both Frankie Muniz and Amanda Bynes are commendable in portraying the two main leads and I liked that the movie didn’t try to force them together. They have a subtle sibling-like friendship that I found really shined all throughout the movie and really felt genuine. But while these two were great the show-stealer of this motion picture goes to Paul Giamatti as the villain. He brings such a laugh out loud performance in just how arrogant, loud, and egotistical he is and brings so much energy through his voice mannerisms and body language that just gets a laugh in every scene he’s in.
For a full-fledged theatrical movie this really isn’t all that clever, emotional, nor does it make much sense. But it crafts itself in a way that it really doesn’t have to. The main actors and their respective characters are enjoyable and funny. There are enough jokes to be funny and it’s easy to root for the protagonist and for us to love to hate the villain. It’s a silly and goofy kids movie that can fun for kids and even have a little bit for adults. And that’s something any good movie (or TV show) ought to do: Be able to speak to any audience no matter what the target is.