Anthony's Film Review

High School High (1996)

The many attempts to be funny fell flat almost every time...

Just because a filmmaker has a track record for good movies doesn't mean he or she is immune to making a flop. I'm not saying I hate filmmakers with great reputations who unexpectedly make a bad movie. Nobody is perfect, after all. Still, you can't help but take notice. For example, David Zucker, known for the movie Airplane! and the Naked Gun movies, was also behind High School High, a spoof that is the opposite of the hilarious movies he did.

Released not too long after the 1995 film Dangerous Minds, High School High pokes fun at the gritty high school drama. Jon Lovitz is a teacher who takes a job at a horrible public high school. It's so horrible that his first sight of the school includes an explosion from one window, presumably the result of gang violence. This could be funny, but I didn't laugh. Not because it's tasteless but because there was no surprise in this joke.

The other main character is a teacher played by Tia Carrere. She also serves as, not surprisingly, a romantic interest for the Lovitz character. In fact, there is one scene that is pretty much the only funny scene in the whole movie. It involves the two in a darkened room, ready to make love. However, there is a cat shrieking. Just watch this scene and you'll understand what I mean.

Anyway, the whole movie is a pointless and predictable story about an old-fashioned teacher trying to reach out to his brainless students who are too corrupted by their inner-city lifestyles. The jokes fall flat because, like the explosion gag I mentioned, there's no surprise in the joke. I didn't really laugh when a female student with a baby talks about a failed home vasectomy on her partner or when the Lovitz character introduces an LP record, which a DJ scratches to create a beat for a rap tune.

Even the ending is flat. I wasn't amused by the students suddenly seeming smart but still sounding stupid. (Wow, this tongue-twister is funnier than the movie.) Just the way they're showing off their newfound knowledge makes the whole thing seem unnatural. So if I were to give this movie a grade, I would give it a D, which definitely translates to the lower end of my numerical rating scale.

Anthony's Rating:

For more information about High School High, visit the Internet Movie Database.


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