'Fun Size' no fun in any size

By Gary Wolcott, atomictown.comOctober 26, 2012 

Fun Size is fraught with problems. We start with the target audience.

More or less billed as a "kids" movie, the PG-13 rating says it's packed with mature material. That means it's not aimed at younger kids. And when you get into the film's dull details, no self-respecting teen is going to be caught dead going to this one.

You can double-down on that when it comes to adults.

With no real target, the film is as dysfunctional as the family of the main character, Wren. She's in high school. Her recently widowed mom isn't doing well. She's dating a 26-year old. Wren doesn't like it. Baby brother Albert is a major-league prankster. He cuts up Wren's clothes, plays nasty tricks on her and ignores reprisals.

He also refuses to talk. Not a word passes his lips. This script is so bad, even if he did get to talk, it wouldn't give him much worth saying anyway.

TV actress Victoria Justice plays Wren. Young women in these flicks always are hotter than hot. Justice is drop-dead gorgeous, and you're supposed to believe she hardly gets noticed in high school. Yeah, right.

The set-up has the most popular boy in school noticing and inviting Wren to his Halloween party.

A monkey wrench is put into her plans. Mom is going to a Halloween party with the new BF, and Wren has to take Albert out to trick-or-treat. She can't go to the party until he wears out.

Albert has other ideas. He immediately ditches his sister and, in a series of misadventures, she spends the movie trying to find him.

Meanwhile, the kid connects with different people and where Albert is, chaos reigns.

Fun Size does teen angst comedy style and with a light, but sometimes mature, dose of pheromones. But as mentioned earlier, one of the film's biggest problems is its target. Problem No. 2 is it's just a terrible movie.

How bad is this one? Johnny Knoxville (Jackass and its sequels) has a key role and his name is not listed in the credits. Knoxville's career isn't exactly sizzling these days so not being listed means something.

Normally teen films don't irritate me. I don't relate, but at least I can understand the making of one and the attraction. My problem with Fun Size started early on when Wren takes the mask off a young girl who she mistakes for her brother.

The kid -- paraphrasing -- says, "What do you think you're doing ... bitch!" Kids ought not to talk like that. It's not funny. What writer of a so-called "kids" movie would stoop that low and think a line like that passes for humor.

This happens early in the movie. And compared to the rest of the film, it's actually a comedy highlight. Sad. Fun Size isn't fun in this size, or in any size.

Mr. Movie rating: 1 star

Director: Josh Schwartz

Stars: Victoria Justice, Jackson Nicoll, Johnny Knoxville, Chelsea Handler, Jane Levy

Rated PG-13 for mature themes. It is playing at Regal's Columbia Center 8, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen

4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.

3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on video.

2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.

0 stars: Speaks for itself.

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