Max Keeble's Big Move

"OK"

Max Keeble's Big Move Review


Even when presented with a reasonably original idea for a kids' movie like "Max Keeble's Big Move," Disney can always find a way to bleed all the color out of it and give the resulting product that Mouse House assembly-line feel.

Max (Alex D. Linz), our hero, is a diminutive, idiosyncratic seventh-grader with a rubbery face and a hurricane hairdo, who starts junior high on the wrong foot, running afoul of two bullies and the conniving school principal on the first day of class. The original idea in here is that just when he's sure he's in for a miserable year, his father announces the family is moving away, and Max realizes he has a golden opportunity to assert himself and wreak some havoc without any consequences.

Max concocts a plan to humiliate the bullies, expose the principal's illicit designs for the school budget, and make time with a ninth-grader (Brooke Anne Smith) so babelicious that she gets Britney Spears' "Hit Me Baby (One More Time)" as her very own theme song.

There's a gold mine of all-ages comedy to be had in this concept, but director Tim Hill ("Muppets From Space") and his trio of first-time writers adhere to that condescending belief that "it's just a kids' movie," so they just don't try very hard.

Sure, "Max Keeble" is a giggle-fest for the grade school set, but 90 percent of its laughs are from jokes and clichés that weren't even fresh when the East Side Kids peddled them. The principal dancing around with a squirrel in his pants or a teacher being pelted with pudding during a cafeteria food fight -- why not aim for something more? Why make a throwaway movie on purpose?

Hill is not as guilty as some kids' movie directors, but he is clearly more interested in casting flash-in-the-pan pop music idols (Lil' Romeo, the prepubescent rap-over-other-people's songs artist, plays himself) than he is in mining the novelties of the plot.

Max and his outcast best friends -- band geek Megan (Zena Gray) and a fat kid known as "Robe" (Josh Peck) because that's what he wears to school -- are anything but memorable. In fact, the least generic character in the film is also the most absurd -- a bully who fancies himself a Wall Street wiz, sporting a suit, tie, briefcase and Palm Pilot. Shouldn't this kid be on the receiving end of wedgies and swirlies?

The mugging charisma of Linz ("One Fine Day," "Bounce") and cleverness at the picture's core help "Max Keeble" cling to life while it's pummeled by patently unoriginal execution, simplistic plot developments (the superintendent is coming for an inspection) and inexplicable casting (fashion model Amber Valletta as a science teacher?!?).

But just when the plot thickens -- Max's parents decide not to move after all -- the last act goes flat with pat, gimmick-driven resolutions and a yawner of a climax that's so easy it smacks of lazy, disinterested screenwriting.

Is "Max Keeble's Big Move" adequate matinee fodder that will entertain adolescents and placate parents? Sure. But it could have been much more if the filmmakers had bothered to try a little harder.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 86 mins

In Theaters: Friday 5th October 2001

Box Office USA: $16.5M

Box Office Worldwide: $17.3M

Budget: $12M

Distributed by: Buena Vista Pictures

Production compaines: Walt Disney Pictures, Karz Entertainment

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 29%
Fresh: 16 Rotten: 40

IMDB: 5.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Max Keeble, as Megan, as Lily Keeble, as Principal Elliot T. Jindraike, as Robe, as Dobbs, as Caption Writer, as Worried Kid, Cory Hodges as Yearbook Photographer, Kyle Sullivan as Techie Kid, as Bus Prankster, Martin Spanjers as Runty Band Member, Bryan Matsuura as First Eighth Grader, as Second Eighth Grader, as Eighth Grader On Bike, Nick Albert as Eighth Grader In Gym, Zachary Spound as Julius Klinghoffer, Lil Romeo as Himself, Maximilian Kesmodel as Four Year Old Max, Christian Boewe as Six Year Old Troy, Marcus Toji as Food Fight Chess Player, E.J. De La Pena as Pudgy 7th Grader, Ashly Holloway as Adorable 6 Yr. Old Girl, Brendan Hill as Pimply 7th Grader, Alexandra Kaplan as Kelly Lloyd, as Troy McGinty

Contactmusic


Links


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.