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Underclassman (PG-13)

Release Date: September 2nd, 2005 by Miramax Films.
The Cast: Nick Cannon, Roselyn Sanchez, Shawn Ashmore, Angelo Spizzirri, Hugh Bonneville, Cheech Marin.
Directed by Marcos Siega.

BASIC PREMISE: Tracy (Cannon) goes undercover in a high school to investigate a potential drug ring.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: The plot is very silly and far-fetched without any believable characters. The main problem is that Nick Cannon is unfunny and, more often than not, he is irritating. At least he looks young enough to be a high school student, but he certainly does not act like one. There is one very uncomfortable moment when he takes out a chocolate cake that he baked and then, with deliberate sexual innuendo, he tells his hot Spanish teacher (Sanchez), “You know you want it”. Cheech Marin is the funniest as the police captain who sends Tracy out on his mission. However, he has very few scenes. In the silliest scene, a detective defecates on a lawn while the bad guys are speeding away—not funny or original. There is a plot twist, but it is not surprising. On a positive note, the pace is fast and there is an exciting action sequence involving a speedboat. A funny movie begins with a decent script, but this script is too by-the-numbers and the scarce humor is too forced. If only there were more humor and a more original, believable plot, this film would be much more entertaining.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: There is very little to think about because there are no realistic situations or characters.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Minimal character development, contrived and predictable plot, and not enough of Cheech Marin!


THE BOTTOM LINE: There is not much to enjoy with a silly, contrived plot and very little humor.


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