I knew absolutely nothing about this movie before I won a screening pass to go see it. I just wanted to see a free movie, and I honestly thought before going to see it that it would be awful. Like, just from seeing the synopsis, I was thinking this won’t be all that great, it’ll be generic, and it’ll be dumb. I’m pleasantly surprised that I was wrong.
Middle School is a comedy film about an imaginative quiet teenager named Rafe Katchadorian who is tired of his middle school’s obsession with the rules at the expense of any and all creativity. Desperate to shake things up, Rafe and his best friends have to come up with a plan: break every single rule in the school and let the students run wild.
Middle School is directed by Steve Carr, whose films I’ve never seen but always heard very mediocre things about, maybe thats why my expectations were so low. His filmography consists of such films as: Next Friday (2000), Dr. Dolittle 2 (2001), Daddy Day Care (2003), Are We Done Yet? (2007), Paul Blart: Mall Cop (2009), and Movie 43 (2012). I didn’t think that the directing in this movie was anything special, it was like a TV movie, like it was passable, but it wasn’t anything to write home about.
The film was written by Chris Bowman, Hubbel Palmer and Kara Holden, they adapted a book by the same name. Bowman and Palmer had another film that just opened to mediocre reception, called Masterminds. My best friend went to go see it, and said it wasn’t anything special, but I’ll check it out eventually, when i’m bored and have a spare 2 hours. I thought the story was well written, I don’t have much to compare it to, as I haven’t seen any of the writers other films or read the book. But I thought the comedy was well written, and I liked the characters. Especially Rafe and his sister Georgia and her trusty side pug-kick – Mr. Giggles.
I am honestly not familiar with ANY of the actors in this movie. Rafe was played by Griffin Gluck, whose other films consist of Sideways (2009), Just Go With It (2011), Private Practise Tv Series (2007-2013), and Just Before I Go (2014). I thought he did a great job in this movie, was very believable and I liked his character. He reminded me, of myself when I was in school and I broke a couple rules…just a couple. Georgia was played by Alexa Nisenson, whose other roles consist of one episode of Constantine(2015). For this being her first real role, I thought she did great. Jules was played by Lauren Graham , who was Rafe and Georgia’s mother in the movie. She is recognizable to me, but I’ve never seen anything with her in it. Her other roles consist of Sweet November (2001), Bad Santa (2003), The Pacifier (2005), Gilmore Girls TV Series (2000-2007), Evan Almighty (2007), and It’s Kind Of A Funny Story (2010). And lastly, the only actor in the film that I know is Rob Riggle. I always like him, and I like his delivery on his comedic roles. His roles consist of Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006), Step Brothers (2008), The Hangover (2009), Going the Distance (2010), The Other Guys (2010), 21 Jump Street (2012), The Internship (2013), Dumb and Dumber To (2014), Let’s Be Cops (2014), and 22 Jump Street (2014). He was a complete asshole jackass in this movie, I didn’t like his character but he’s quite funny.
My favourite part of the movie was the drawings that came to life throughout the film. So Rafe is an artist and has a lot of really cool ideas and is extremely talented and his imagination takes over and his drawings come to life. It’s a really cool idea, and I thought that it was a cool idea. It felt tacky at first, but I actually was really impressed with it by the end.
I thought the soundtrack was varied, but I was surprised at how much Dubstep there was. It felt out of place, but I didn’t think it was too awful.
My negatives to the film is that it felt very by the numbers, like I felt like I’ve seen this story before and seen it been told better. The story was alright too, nothing special. Everything just felt by the numbers, but the comedy was fun. It was a fun movie, I wouldn’t say its amazing, I wouldn’t say rush out and see it, unless you’re looking for a family friendly comedy. It was refreshing in a time where each comedic movie is going for shock comedy, and not genuine comedy, Middle School does a good job of just making a generally funny movie.
My overall review of the film is a 3/5.
Sorry this review isn’t longer, it would be if I knew the director better or could compare works. But unfortunately, it was a little generic for my taste, but I’m also hard to please sometimes. But this was fun!
Until Next Time!