Max Keeble is a nice, quiet teenager, whose idea of 'superhero-requiring' danger is braving Evil Ice Cream Man who blames him for a health complaint from ma Lily. She spent six years on just the right interior and now hears from dad Don Keeble, a wimp whose 'career' in commercial publicity still only got him wearing sly costumes, a promotion requires the family to move to Chicago. Initially Max just hates giving up his high-school friends, a fatso and a music-maniac, but when their former friend Troy McGinty picks on them with his new image as bully realizes leaving means he can't be punished after Friday, and plans an orgy of revenge. Max's targets include the arrogant new principal, Elliot T. Jindraike, who spends the school budget on a new sports stadium to flatter the inspector, Superintendant Bobby 'Crazy Legs' Knebworth, and even plants to tear down the animal shelter. When it's all in motion, dad suddenly announces he has taken Max's first advice and turned down the promotion! Written by
Amusing for adults, a blast and a half for pre-puberty members of the family, Max Keeble is just good junior high fun.
Resiliently taking it all in stride, Max (and friends) absorb typical 6th grader abuse: the school yard bully, the angry principal, retaliatory ice cream man, and a looming move out of state. Each of these "villains" play rather cartoony. Larry Miller as always nails the dimwitted, egocentric, greedy, fumbling principal. (He's also very good in Princess Diaries.) Noel Fisher covers the leather jacket, wallet-chain-wearing bully role well too.
The triangle of friends, in contrast to the buffoony bad guys, hang closer to the kinds of kids we know (or used to be).
So when Max learns that his family will suddenly be moving to Chicago, he decides to return a few transgressions inflicted on himself and his friends. Ah, the sweet tingles of revenge ("Home Alone" style). "I don't just have a plan ... I have a planetarium!!!"
And so begins a three-day extravaganza for which the bumbling bad guys are just not ready. Eventually, Max gets more than his original bargain and finds himself teetering precariously on the brink of a friendless abyss.
"Any kid can make a mess. It takes man to clean it up."
Some somewhat stereotypical themes are peppered tastefully with carefully shot fun, good acting, and a strong sound track that accentuates the folly.
I simply love the scene where the school's sexy science teacher strolls across the classroom setting each Bunsen burner a light as she passes, simply because she is perceived to be the "hottest" teacher in the school.
Coincidentally, Alex D. Linz and Zena Grey (Max Keeble and best friend Megan) enjoyed my particular screening from the front row.As the credits rolled, they stood up and boogied to the soundtrack. A good time, take the kids.
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