Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life

Updated on October 26, 2016
Stevennix2001 profile image

Steven Escareno is an amateur film critic that writes about movies in his spare time.

Stevennix2001's Rating:

6 / 10

Pros:

  • Acting was decent. Granted, you can tell the cast overacts quite a bit, but it suits the narrative of the story, so it's forgivable for the most part.
  • Humor was funny if you're into the type of comedy that you'll find in live action TV shows on Nickelodeon or the Disney Channel.
  • Animation sequences throughout the film are well done. Definitely fit within the narrative of the story to highlight Rafe's overactive imagination.

Cons:

  • Story is too generic and cliche that it's kind of forgettable, after you see it.
  • Most of the characters aren't written well, as they tend to be mostly stereotypes.
  • The subplot about the dead brother being Rafe's best friend isn't worked into the story very well.
  • And since Rafe's crush sees him talking to his brother on camera, who isn't really there, you'd think that would be enough to make her NOT want to be attracted to him, but nope. She apparently has a thing for artistic crazy people that talk to themselves. Kind of unrealistic, but eh. What do you expect from a generic family comedy like this?

RULES AREN'T FOR EVERYONE! SCREW THE ESTABLISHMENT!

Based on the popular kid's book of the same name. "Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life" depicts the story of a young boy named Rafe Katchadorian (Griffin Gluck), as he prepares to go to his new school for the year, since he's been kicked out of a lot schools for misbehavior.

Rafe is something of an artist, who doodles in his notebook constantly throughout the story. As he doodles, the drawings tend to take on a life of their own. Not literally to where all the characters can see them, but mostly in his own mind. The film gives us colorful animated moments to see those images come to life, which kind of makes him something of a kid version of John Cusack's character in "One Crazy Summer."

Anyways, Rafe is frustrated by his new school, as he has to put up with a stereotypical bully, and a Principal, who seems to care more about rules when it comes to maintaining his own self interests, than the students themselves. And of course, he also has to deal with his mom's overbearing boyfriend, who wants to send Rafe off to military school to get rid of him.

Like most movies of this ilk, you already know what's going to happen because it's one of those generic cliche by the numbers kid films. Nothing great, but you hope that the humor is funny at least, to make it enjoyable. However, to be fair, it's entertaining if you're into the same type of humor that you'd find in a live action Disney Channel show like "Jessie", "Wizards of Waverly Place" and etc.

The acting isn't bad, but it's not great either. If you've ever seen a live action Disney channel show based on young kids (i.e "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody", and etc), then you'll pretty much know that most of the actors tend to overact for comedic effect. It's not a bad thing per se if that's the audience your gearing your film towards, but it's not particularly memorable either because it doesn't do much to differentiate itself from the generic crap we've seen before.

The characters are poorly written for the most part, as most of them are generic stereotypes with little to no personality; apart from Rafe himself. You have the sympathetic mother, who's practically a saint that wants nothing but the best for her kids. You have a sweet little smart a** of a sister, who's the brains between them. You have the "cool guy" teacher, who teaches free thinking in a school hellbent on rules and regulations. And of course, you have a step father, who's essentially a prick that hates kids.... Seriously, do screenwriters just think that all step parents are a**holes?

However, after Rafe's sketchbook is destroyed by the principal, he becomes hellbent on destroying every rule to get back at him. From here, this is where the story begins. Oh, it's also revealed later on that his best friend happens to be the ghost of his little brother that he pretends still exists, after he died, as it's used as sort of an excuse for his previous misbehavior in the past. However, it's not worked in particularly well, as it's barely even referenced to, and it's a bit awkward because that would essentially mean that the girl he likes saw him talking to himself, yet she somehow finds this sweet and adoring? I'm sorry, but most girls that I know that see a guy talking to himself would normally think he was crazy. However, it's a kids film, so I guess logic goes out the window in these types of stories.

While I'm not going to say that "Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life" flat out sucks, I will say that it feels like one of those features that probably would've been better served going straight to DVD, or premiering on the Disney Channel, because it's too generic and safe to be taken seriously as a theatrical release.

Definitely worth watching on DVD if you're into the type of humor and story telling that you'll find in live action TV shows on Nickelodeon or Disney these days. However, I wouldn't pay to see it in a theater though.

© 2016 Steven Escareno

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, reelrundown.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://reelrundown.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)