Recess: The Movie

RECESS: THE MOVIE, based on some TV cartoon I think, is a deceptively 
innocuous, under-animated kid pic about a suburban fifth-grader and 
known class cut-up who, after summer vacation starts, discovers Some-
thing Sinister(tm) underway at the school.  The school that's *sup-
posed* to be empty...  His parents don't believe him, of course, nor 
does any *other* adult in town.  (Nor do they notice the giant-radar-
gun-dish-looking-beam-firing-thing that raises from the roof of the 
schoolhouse right in broad daylight!  Guess everyone in town com-
mutes...)  So, our intrepid, bike-riding hero rounds up his buds from 
the various summer camps that they've just arrived at, though even 
*they* don't entirely believe his story.  Well, until they see the 
Mysterious Green Glow(tm) themselves.  (His ethnic-, gender-, and 
body type-balanced group of friends think he's just lonely, 'cause 
he's the only one who didn't go to camp.  Nice touch, those feel-

Modest, kid-friendly adventures ensue-- you know, lotsa shouting and 
sneaking and outsmarting of adults.  Plus some bad-guy butt-kicking.
And all in the pursuit of a reasonably engaging mystery.  (One more 
*Earthly* than extraterrestrial and including an amusing amount of 
scientific mumbo-jumbo.)  Add a big, broad comic slant to everything 
and you've got your movie.  No, no jokes *too* obvious or excessively 
juvenile.  Instead, it's a wide range of gags, from giggle-inducing 
references to "fat, saggy butts" to a surprisingly number of *adult* 
funnies.  ("Teacher, leave that kid alone" yells a character and ob-
vious Pink Floyd fan.)  The wee ones at the sneak I sneaked into were 
all hoots and howls and even threatened to start clapping during an 
on-screen rendition of "John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt."  [ Insert 
own eye-rolling ]  Happily, the parents (and other grown-ups) in at-
tendance were *also* laughing and sometimes *hugely* so, due to the 
numerous pop references, one hilarious psychedelic flashback, man, 
and a dozen instantly recognizable oldies from the Sixties and Seven-
ties.  (Gotta love the "Theme From SWAT" wacka-wacka-wacking over an 
action scene at the end.)  Indeed, a film for all ages-- or at least, 
for *baby-boomers* of all ages.  And, as a bonus, you'll also receive 
the animated version of everyone's favorite game show:  Name That Ce-
lebrity Voice.  I recognized JW, RS, LE, and the singing voice of RG, 
who performs a "Golden Throats"-style "Green Tambourine" in a music 
video during the closing credits.  Too funny.  Why'd it have to be 
ninjas?  (Rated "G"/90 min.)

Grade: B

Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros
Movie Hell is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros

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Copyright 2001 by Michael J. Legeros -Movie Hell™ is a trademark of Michael J. Legeros