The new teencom "Extracurricular Activities," which hit Blu-ray, DVD and VOD on June 4, shows that the spirit of mainstream '80s comedy at least is not totally extinguished. The bigger picture (no pun intended) is that people of all ages DESPERATELY need a fun and silly summer movie like this in this worst of times that lack any sense of the best of time.
The following YouTube clip of an "Activities' trailer validates that if you only see one comedy about a boy-next-door hitman this year you should see this one.
Colin Ford, who looks like a typical Disney Channel tweencom star and has amassed 52 IMDb credicts in his 17-year career, is perfectly cast as perfect teen Reagan Collins.
Outwardly, Reagan is an honors student who adequately works and plays well with others. His dark side consists of arranging fatal accidents for particularly onerous parents of his classmates. The two-birds-one-stone principle of this for-profit enterprise is that the offsprings are rid of a toxic 'rent and Reagan earns more for a less than an hour of work than he would bank flipping burgers for a year,
The especially awesome aspects of this concept extend well beyond the peers of Reagan condoning his titular activity and virtually every adult aptly being clueless regarding this "hobby." Reagan (sometimes literally) goes the extra mile to make his justice poetic, This begins with the opening scenes of the despicable parents who fat shame their "chunky" daughter and also are cruel to her gay brother driving their Hummer with a "SIX MPG" license plate off a mountain road as a calm Reagan rides past in his family car.
A statistically improbable "accidental" death of the father of another classmate of Reagan triggers the spidey sense of comically obsessed father of a Reagan classmate/police detective Cliff Dawkins. Extra humor comes courtesy of Dawkins milking beyond dry his apparently sole professional success in his relatively long career.
The fun fully begins as Dawkins futilely tries to connect a figurative smoking gun to Reagan, who deftly not only evades his prey but repeatedly sets him up to make himself look foolish. This is on top of the bulls eye being on Reagan not slowing down his work as a contractor.
The climax begins to build as Dawkins thinks that he has an ally in cheerleader/Reagan friend (perhaps with benefits) Mary Alice. Discovering the horse that Mary Alice has in the race is a film highlight.
The fun fully begins when a completely unhinged Dawkins literally takes the law into his own hands. This only proves that some people are too stupid to live.
The amusing dark-humor concept, strong performance by Ford, and good jobs by his more stock-character portraying cast mates alone provides reasons to add "Activities" to your home-video collection. The highly relatable dynamics are the icing on the cake.
Adults will enjoy the stereotypical (but not caricature) teens and the mostly buffoonish (and universally clueless) parents and teachers. Kids will love the highly embarrassing grown-ups and should see themselves in the teens. This evokes thoughts of Matt Stone and Trey Parker stating in the early days of their creation "South Park" that they at one time or another were the fat kid, the poor kid, the Jewish kid, etc.
The two lessons from all this are to never embarrass your kids and to get while the getting is good as to rare genuinely funny modern films such as "Activities."