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Genre: , ,

Cast: Nick Cannon, Roselyn Sanchez, Shawn Ashmore, Cheech Marin, Kelly Hu

Director: Marcos Siega

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: January 17th, 2006
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Overall Grade: D-


Review By: Staff

Click Here to Read the Theatrical Review!


Even with an understanding of the Hollywood system, the financing of certain movies still baffles me. I can assume that Underclassman was made as an attempt to capitalize on whatever fan base Nick Cannon may have, even though I can't think of any such fan base. Assumingly, it was cheap to make and no one surrounding the movie expected much from it, besides a small return to put toward a larger, more profitable movie. So, perhaps this movie can be viewed as a road bump in everyone's career; something that had to be done, but shouldn't have been done. Many actors, directors, writers, and producers have bad movies that helped them get to where they currently are, or where they arrived in years past. Go check; I guarantee even your favorite actor/writer/director has a movie in their credits that you wouldn't watch on a dare. This thought does not excuse the making of Underclassman, it's just a randomly connected thought.

The writing duo behind Van Wilder and My Baby's Daddy didn't inspire me with hope, and they delivered the routing, formulaic script I suspected. But let's also throw out some anti-props for Cannon, who contributed to the development of the story, giving himself a writing credit; since he was also Executive Producer. The story is a grade school-level attempt at an action comedy with a very young FBI agent infiltrating a prep school to thwart an international car theft ring. "My God!" yelled the studio executive. "Isn't that one of the dumbest ideas for a movie ever?" said another. "Let's make it," together they said, smiles adorning their faces. Everything about this movie lends itself to a level below mediocrity; from the car chases, to the characters, to the relationships, to the premise, to the acting, to the directing, to the words coming out of the characters' mouths. My friend said, and I quote, "You're going to have a tough time reviewing this movie; there's nothing to write about it. You're going to be banging your head against the keyboard." Just a few times, friend, until I begin to bleed; then, at least I will have diverted the pain from watching this movie.

Nick Cannon plays Nick Cannon as an FBI agent; not too convincingly. It has to be a bummer when you can't even play yourself well. He's not convincing as an actor, and being I'm an intelligent adult, I don't vibe with him as a performer/entertainer. He has some measure of fame from Nickelodeon's All That, but I never watched that sketch show, so I don't care. What can you do for me now, Nick? You're supposed to be an adult: act, write, and executive produce like

one! The other cardboard cut-out characters were doomed from the moment they signed their contracts. There's nothing for anyone to do; this is one long, extended sketch for Cannon, and he cannot carry it. The director, Marcos Siega, may be able to build a career if he stays away from projects like this one. His other movie of 2005, Pretty Persuasion, received many accolades and comprised a more talented cast. Lest we forget, Brett Ratner began his career with Money Talks, a silly underachiever, before hitting his stride and eventually achieving A-list attention.

An all around stinker. Avoid this movie and go watch a chimp poo from the top of a giant tree in the primate section of your local zoo. It's not worth the digital space to write anything further.

Special Features:

Regarding all Special Features: There is nothing of any importance or intelligence.

Movie Grade: D

DVD Features Grade: F

Overall Grade: D-

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