Kicking & Screaming Movie Review
Will Ferrell is no longer funny. For a while he was, but he isn't anymore. You can only listen to a man shout stupid things at the screen for so long before the interest fades. "Kicking and Screaming," like so many cross-breeds of children and non-children comedies, is mediocre at best, occasionally funny but never exactly satisfying.
I've seen worse movies. I could handle "Kicking and Screaming," and it will make for a good rental for those who don't bother seeing it in theaters. For me - one viewing is enough. It was funny enough, with sporadic jokes and some really goofy kids, but not funny enough to watch a second time. Most of the jokes spoken by the adults fall flat, and it is only by sheer visuals that the kids bust you up. One kid is the ugliest kid on the face of the planet, and the casting director knew it - the kid alone makes the movie worth watching. Then there's the little Asian kid who barely speaks but is funny nonetheless - because he's little. Yes, the only reason "Kicking and Screaming" is funny is because it gives us the chance to laugh at kids. No, not with kids. At them.
The plot is simple. Ferrell plays a dad who becomes a soccer coach for a loser group of kids. With the help of two Italians and football coach Mike Ditka of all people, he takes them to the playoffs to compete against his psycho-sports dad. Of course, in the meantime he becomes the obsessive and uncaring man he grew up hating, which will eventually lead to a sappy rekindling of spirits, et cetera et cetera.
Big fans of Ferrell will still find a few things to laugh at, but for the most part the "Elf" star just couldn't handle the bad jokes presented to him. He tries his best to cover up the inadequacies of the script, but let's face it - Ferrell, like most "SNL" stars, only has a limited timeframe where his style of humor is popular. Mr. Ferrell, it's fading...
"Kicking and Screaming" feels very long, as if it's meant to be a three hour epic when it should be a 90-minute kid's movie. There's too much talking about nothing. Half an hour could have been shaved from the running time and nothing would've been lost.
"Kicking and Screaming" isn't a complete disaster, but it really is nowhere as good as Ferrell's past efforts. Unless you're a diehard fan, I suggest waiting until video, or, alternatively, renting "Old School" or "Elf."
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.