Kicking and Screaming (2005)

United States
March 17, 2008 9:20am CST
Java will make all you dreams come true. Taking under major consideration, that Kicking and Screaming was made predominantly for youngsters, the end product seems quite reasonable. It's not a landmark funny film but at the same time its just enough under the top to satisfy. Filled with many funny sequences, as well as an "after school special" ending, it is a fitting film for the family to see. Plus, you get the chance to see Will Ferrell overachieving. The script was not top notch, but Mr. Ferrell sure squeezed all the comedic juice he could out of it. What is all the Kicking and Screaming about? Will Ferrell the former "Saturday Night Live" star is the main act of this kids comedy about the dangerous, super-competitive world of.. the little leagues? Indeed, Mr. Ferrell plays the part of mild mannered Phil Weston an average fella who has had to endure the tribulation of living with a super competitive father. Not only did he have to put up with him as a child, but even more as an adult. His father Buck is played by Robert Duvall. When Phil has the task fall upon his lap to coach his 10 yr. old son's soccer team, he has placed himself in a position to go head-to-head with his sports brute of a father Buck. Seeing, as how his father coaches his own young son (and yes.. Phil's younger brother). On the way to the league championship, Phil recruits ol' Mike Ditka to help him coach more aggressive and also because Ditka is enormously an enemy of his father Buck. (They are neighbors, that have been fighting for a long time.) Soon, old scores come into play, as well as new ones.. and Phil and Buck find themselves taking it to the extreme, in search of beating the other at coaching and most importantly winning the championship trophy. There is no I in team... but there is in Winning. In the end, what you have here is a delightful movie that adults as well as children can enjoy. It displays Ferrell's talents rather well. It shows that not only can he entertain the older crowd, but also the younger ones. The only sad part about his performance, was the fact that he pushed the slap stick envelope to the limit, in order for us to find him funny. Which he was, but it made us realize how poor the script was. How if not for his comical endurance, the movie might not have been as comical. The ending was predictable, but when it comes to children movies we expect it. The lack of surprise, does not come as much of a surprise. There is a particular part of the movie that I greatly enjoyed. It was Ferrell's character going all nutzo with the java. Im a zealous fan of the java and just viewing him turn into a espresso jolted maniac, was a delight, not to mention full of jest. As he got more and more into the black bean juice, he turned more and more into the coach from Hades. Which in fact, was another pleasant piece of the pie. Once he turned into a rampaging coach it showed a familiar side of little league adults. It showed how maniacal coaches (as well as parents) can get in little league games. They go nutzo over winning and in the end forget what the point of playing the game was. The point being having fun, and leaving the score as a secondary worry. It is great when you have a kids movie that entertains, but its even better when at its conclusion, it strives to drive a point home. Im sure its not an insurmountable task that some parents, after viewing this movie, might reflect on their own selves. Hopefully, that might save some people from going all mid-evil on each other, when the score or playing time of their children, is not on their side. Hear the news lately? I hate hearing about parents going on sport rampages, on behalf of the children. When all the kids want to do is just play the game and oh yeah.. maybe have a little fun in the process. Hopefully, the ending of this movie will help break a small chunk of the boulder that is "Little League Rage". Them other actors... David Herman First I wanted to mention Mr. Herman here, one of the (should be famous) voices from Futurama. He played the referee in this movie and gave a few nice laughs. He is an unknown actor, who was splendid in a movie that I recently saw called "Office Space". Which is a must see. He is also a Mad TV alumni. Robert Duvall Now I love ol' Duvall as well as the next guy, but he should stay clear of the comedic rout. I felt a bit bad watching him try profusely to make the funny.. but with the result of looking a bit foolish. Every time he said something that was suppose to be funny, it's delivery was tremendously off and his words felt awfully out of place. In the end, thankfully enough, his performance was not so out of reach that it ruined the experience all together. Since, it gets (somewhat) dramatic at its end, the script suited him a lot better at its finale. Mike Ditka Now Mr. Ditka I did enjoy. He was loud and unpleasant.. but hey, that's exactly how he is in real life. He has a larger than life attitude. So when it came to his acting, it was over the top, but in his case it actually helped the funny be delivered. Kicking and Screaming (2005) "Kicking and Screaming" is a family movie that is funny and has a good message. It is predictable but not so much as to where you wont enjoy the ride. If your a single person wanting to see SNL adult oriented content seen previously from Mr. Ferrell.. then I suggest a different rout. For that, you can look to movies such as "Old School" and "Anchorman". But if you are looking for a movie that you can watch with your kids and be able to bare.. then this movie will entertain and like with most kid flicks.. it wont put you in comedic comma. ZeN Did you like Kicking and Screaming?
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