If you're expecting a simple storyline with light-hearted laughs you will be delightfully satisfied. The film depicts young teenagers experiencing what High School might be like for the first time, which apparently involves making sure you don't get bullied. And if you do become the unfortunate one who is bullied, it shows you how to go about getting revenge.
This film does convey this message well within the typical American High School setting, and explores the vulnerability that can occur when you first start at school. And with the bullies being particularly psychotic means that you do actually feel fear for the three boys in the film.
However, although some scenes are quite funny, don't expect to find yourself gasping for air from the laughter that overcomes you. It could be said that with the topic of the film being mostly about bullying, you may not find it funny at all, but a cruel reflection of what can actually occur.
It is clear to see that Seth Rogan, who also wrote Superbad, has had a big influence over this film. The young teenagers are like miniature versions of the characters in Superbad but actually play their parts better than Owen Wilson who is the lead adult in the movie.
With Troy Gentile playing 'Ryan' the gangster wannabe much like McLovin', and Nate Hartley playing 'Wade', the geek-like character similar to Evan; it doesn't provide any original comedy moments if you are already familiar with Superbad, but the way they carry their roles is excellent.
Disappointingly, Wilson plays his usual dramatic self and creates a character that's both annoying and dislikable all in one which leaves the film being let down by him. What also lets it down is the storyline. In the beginning the profiles of the characters are established very quickly, with stereotypes bring the main focus of the humour which is successful. However, as the film begins to develop the narrative becomes disjointed and feels extremely long when you're sitting in the cinema. Scenes that are short could be extended, and scenes which aren't that important to the story should definitely have been shortened.
With this in mind, and the combined repetitive and predictable type of comedy being given to you, it's mostly a relief to leave the cinema. Having said that, it is quite empowering for those teenagers who have been bullied at school. Although the outcome is most likely inevitable, the friendship and support portrayed throughout the film is heart warming.
Would I recommend this film? Yes, to anyone who wants to have a mindless couple of hours in the cinema, sprinkled with a few laughs and without having to think about keeping in touch with the storyline. What does add some light relief is the contemporary soundtrack. So if you find yourself getting bored, just sing along to a couple of songs, they're a bonus!