Cinema Junkie by Beth Accomando
Teen Critics Says Film Puts Foot -- and Fist -- in Mouth
The Foot Fist Way (Paramount Advantage)
By Raymond Mai
While sitting in my seat for the 85 minutes of The Foot Fist Way (opening June 6 throughout San Diego), I looked for tiny pieces of popcorn in my bag, moved my straw around in my drink, and tied my shoe. I was as uncomfortable watching this movie as a small freshman on a varsity football team. I've read some positive reviews written by regular people, and I quite frankly disagree with them. If you thought The Foot Fist Way was hilarious, you shouldn't have brought drugs with you into the movie.
Fred Simmons (Danny McBride) runs a Tae Kwon Do class ranging from little kids to senior citizens. After being cheated on by his wife, Suzie Simmons (Mary Jane Bostic), his life begins to go down the drain. His 5th degree black belt friend, Mike McAllister visits, and Fred, Mike, and two students go on a road trip to visit Chuck "The Truck" Wallace (Ben Best), who is supposedly the best martial artist of all time. A small dilemma happens at The Truck's party. He is convinced to come visit Fred's class for their belt-qualifying test. As soon as he arrives, he's attracted to Suzie. Fred comes home to find his wife cheating on him yet again. To settle this once and for all, Fred is forced to turn on his martial arts idol in a showdown!
The movie made me uncomfortable for numerous reasons. First off, some parts drag on way too long. If I had a remote, I would've been pointing at the screen and pressing the fast forward button on those particular scenes. Another thing is that the movie was intended to be a comedy, yet some parts really felt like a dramatic movie. It didn't go well because the drama scenes didn't correspond well with the scenes that were attempting to be funny. Another thing that bothered me about this movie is that it relied mostly on the actor's expressions to make you laugh, not what he would say or do. This was bad because it wasn't acted out well at all and it kept doing the same thing to try and make you laugh. I could only recall a couple scenes being funny. Most of the film was just the actors trying too hard to be funny. Fred Simmons' obnoxiousness grew old quick and it was just tiring to see him continue to be this way through the whole film.
What I can compliment this film on is that the storyline was actually decently written. It wasn't too cliched for a martial arts film, and it was believable. I definitely admired the fighting scenes. They were choreographed well and they were especially entertaining. This film starts off putting you in an uncomfortable mood and continues in that mode, but once you get past that, the movie isn't half bad. It's an entertaining movie with occasionally funny scenes but it has the potential to be better. You'll only love The Foot Fist Way (rated R for strong language and some sexual content) if you thought Epic Movie was a good comedy. Otherwise, I wouldn't recommend this as a must see, even for people who jump from room to room watching free movies, because this movie deserves only 1 1/2 stars out of 5 in my book.
Raymond Mai is a soon to be sophomore at Mount Miguel High School where he's on the football and baseball team. When he is not studying or playing a sport, he loves to have fun, whether it's watching movies or just kicking it behind the TV with his Nintendo Wii. He enjoys the opportunity to voice his opinions about movies.
Claire Anne Hsu from Bonita, CA 91902
June 06, 2008 at 04:42 PM
Terrific review. It tells me exactly what i want to know about this movie, the acting and the writing. Thank you Raymond
Larry Zeiger from San Diego
June 06, 2008 at 09:00 PM
Really enjoyed the review - and your witty, personal approach to film criticism.
Marianne Hsu Santelli from New Jersey
June 07, 2008 at 05:49 PM
I haven't been to this site in a while...but how refreshing to open it up and read a review which imparts intelligence, a sense of humor AND good English!!! WOW This is well written and gets to the point without being self-conscious or dogmatic! good job
Betty Jo Tucker
June 08, 2008 at 07:36 PM
A very entertaining and informative review, Raymond! Keep up your good work.
Raymond from San Diego, CA - 91945
June 09, 2008 at 06:30 PM
Thanks for the comments and the support everyone! I appreciate it.
June 10, 2008 at 09:02 PM
Raymond, Thank you for your review of a movie that you are too young to see and for missing the point of humor that your diapers were too wet to appreciate. If you think that plot is the strong point of this loose vehicle for groundbreaking improv comedy, then perhaps you should keep your ears cleaned for your sophomore literature class. I will concede that it was super sweet for your friends and family to write in and support your "witty and personal approach to film criticism". Do us all a favor kid, and mess with the Zohan.
Julie Ross from Anaheim, California
June 11, 2008 at 01:17 AM
How classy to see a representative from the MPAA to criticize an opinion about comedy from a sophomore. Good review, Raymond. It gives me a perspective on the movie from a teenagers point of view.
June 11, 2008 at 02:22 AM
I would think that the MPAA would know that an R rated film does not restrict teens from seeing a movie, it just requires a parent or guardian. And aren't teens allowed to have an opinion too? It's going to be a different one from that of an older viewer but it's just as valid. As long as Hollywood goes after teen dollars, I think teens deserve a place to voice their opinions about films, and I'm happy to provide that forum.
June 13, 2008 at 06:35 AM
MPAA, You sir, are a complete jackass. Julie is correct, you must be a very classy person to publicly criticize this teenager for simply trying to do something productive. God knows there are a million things, a million times worse, that teenagers could be doing. Mr. Mai's opinion of the the film differs from yours, deal with it. Thats what adults do. They don't publicly criticize teenagers, and they definitely don't throw in little cheap shots at them. In case you haven't noticed, the entire movie review site is written by teenagers. So; it would be "super sweet" if you could keep your panties from getting in a bunch next time or "do us all a favor" and shut up. Thank you.
June 13, 2008 at 11:47 AM
FYI: the entire site is not written by teenagers. I have a group of about 7 teens posting reviews as part of a Teen Critics program I am running. But I am -- I must confess -- well past being a teenager. But with summer the Teen Critics are being quite active. Thanks Peter for offering an alternate perspective to MPAA.