|A little more than expected||2 out of 2 users found this review helpful.|
So I saw this last night and I am not going to say it’s a great movie (mainly as that would be a lie) but it actually has some merits and isn’t a total write off. Its your basic body swap/change premise but rather than have an adult actor playing a child’s wish fulfilment of a 13 going on 30 or Big or playing out the “your life is so easy” swap of a Freaky Friday the writer went with a theme of “if I knew then what I know now” and the films tone has a lot more in common with a film like Never Been Kissed. I felt the beginning set up was well paced but at times didn’t suit the story they were setting up. With a lot of films you go in knowing the idea but it takes them 30 minutes or so before they get to the maguffin, 17 again gets the information out pretty quickly but the set up felt that it should have been less about reliving glory days and more about not making one decision which would suit an alternate world film better than the rejuvenation one.
Matthew Perry has very little to do pre Efronisation and I don’t think he did much more than show up, Leslie Mann similarly has very little to do but really the film is about Zac Efron and the only grown up actor that gets much face time is Thomas Lennon who provides a couple of funny one liners or pop culture references but for the most part won’t be going down in comical sidekick history. The meat of this film is Zac Efron’s performance and I don’t mind putting myself out on a limb here and saying that his portrayal of playing an adult in a child’s body is almost up to Tom Hanks doing the reverse in Big, the biggest difference is that Zac is not giving as good a script to work with here but in the moments where he needs to shine he comes of pretty well.
Unfortunately the majority of the comedic moments come in scenes of awkwardness which for me is my least favourite form of comedy (I have trouble making it through an entire episode of Peep Show) and made some of the film watching experience uncomfortable. I felt the script relied too heavily on these and also over did the breaking character moments which felt more par for the course for the premise of the film than actually needed. There is not a surprise twist here but there was never supposed to be, the plot plays out just how it should and the pace of the film means it rarely drags but there are few plot points I felt it sped through. I would have liked to see more of the reverse Back to the Future stuff between Zac Efron and Michelle Trachtenberg (playing his daughter) but I can understand why that may have been a tough sell to get in the movie.
Overall it is a movie carried by an actors charm and I have scene worse examples of such a thing. Would I recommend you to hunt it down and buy it? No, but if you see it on television or pop up on your instant queue and you have a spare 90 mins there are far worse ways to spend your time. It’s a 3 star Movie that never tries to overreach without playing it to safe