Scott Hardie: “It was ok.”

In a summer of unnecessary remakes, it's no small distinction being the most unnecessary of all. "South Park," Larry Park and others have taken the shock out of seeing kids swearing and drinking, and today's audiences are too cynical to swallow either a winning ending or a sportsmanlike ending for these scheming underdogs, so what's the point? This film update has a number of hilarious lines delivered in deadpan monotone by Billy Bob Thornton (an acquired taste of a movie star if there ever was one), and the kid actors are surprisingly good, probably due to Richard Linklater's influence. But its tone waffles so much between serious and slacking that it winds up limping to a finish that barely registers. When the studios ponder why film attendance was so low this summer, they should place some blame on dull, unwanted wastes of time like this one.

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