Hey folks, Valkor here. And I never thought I’d see the day that I’d ever sit through a Zac Efron movie. I hate to say it but I never thought I’d see the day I’d sit through a Zac Efron movie and actually enjoy it. I mean the guy is only popular with 13 – 19 year old girls, not guys… well my age. But thanks to the folks at Warner Home, I was able to pop in the DVD, sit back and watch “17 again”, and I’m just gonna say it, the film was pretty damn good. And Zac, yea he’s one cool mofo.
The story of 17 Again starts out with our main character Mike O’Donnell (Efron) who is on the cusp of fame; if only he can kick ass in his local high school basketball game. Fame and fortune are literally knockin down his door. But when his girlfriend “Scar” (Scarlet played by Allison Miller) drops the bomb that she’s having Mike’s baby. Well Mike has a pretty tough decision to make: Does he go for the fame or lock it in with Scar and be the responsible daddy. This is a family picture so of course he goes with the girlfriend and baby. Fastforward 20 years and Mike (Now played by Matthew Perry) is a Pharmaceutical salesman, his wife Scar (played deliciously by Leslie Mann, who will never lose the taint of throwing up on Steve Carrell in the 40 year old virgin) and kids want nothing to do with him and he’s now living with his high school bestfriend Ned (Thomas Lennon) who’s a total geek but filthy rich. One day Mike visits his old High school, where his kids are attending, and spots a group picture of him and his old basketball team. It’s on that very spot that Mike makes a wish to go back and do it all over again, to take the road of fortune and fame. Well this old Janitor (Brian Doyle-Murray) calls him on his wish. And as Mike is driving back to his place, he spots the janitor walking a plank, falling over into the icy water. (Or I assume icy heh heh). Of course Mike follows and the following day he wakes up… well back to young Mike. Not 1989 Mike, but 1989 Mike in 2009. It took him some time, some lumps, and a light saber duel to convince Ned, but when he’s finally convinced, he helps Mike with his plan of fortune and fame by getting Mike enrolled into high school. Things more or less go well for Mike, I mean hey it’s the same school as his kids attend; Mike soon finds out his son is a push over and his daughter is getting her tonsils tickled by the local bully. So now Mike will try to help his kids, hook up with his wife, and try to achieve that dream of riches. Oh before I forget to mention this, but his buddy Ned totally has the hots for the school principal Jane Masterson (Melora Hardin).
17 Again is basically a reverse “Big” (Tom Hanks picture) and if anyone knows their family picture formula, you know exactly how this film will end. On with the review
Though predictable as the film may be I really did enjoy it. Zac, you have convinced me you’ve got some acting chops. And though I won’t rush to the box office to see his pics, I won’t hesitate when they're released on video… unless it’s some lovey-dovey kinda picture, or High School Musical 5. Matthew Perry has some sweet screen time too and also performs well. I love Leslie Mann; I think she’s hot and I love her voice, so when I see her face In a movie, yea I get excited because she’s just so damn good… and hot…and good… and well… you know. But the break out hit of the flick, the guy who gets the most laughs has to be Thomas Lennon as geeky Ned. Maybe it’s because I’m such a geek that I enjoyed the character so much. When he and the principal start speaking elvish, you just can’t help but smile.
Anything I say about the film would be nitpicky, but hey nothing’s perfect right? Well for starters I get the premise, of an old guy wanting to recapture glory, but to me it tries too hard. With Big you feel that Tom Hanks is a kid trapped in a kids body, but here Zac hams it up being the dad who’s 17, attending school with his kids. But he still comes across as being a kid. Why doesn’t he try to buy beer... or a hooker? I give the film some props for touching on MILF territory; that was pretty damn bold, but he just comes across as a horny teenager. Mike is still an adult and he’s supposed to be out of place, but he comes across as goofy.
Overall I really enjoyed 17 Again; it's fun, family friendly film and I recommend it. Especially to those who may not be the biggest Zac Efron fan; simply give it a try, you might enjoy it. Out of TOV 5 stars I give the film a 3.5 and it’s been Valkor tested and TOV approved.