The rest of 17 AGAIN doesn’t rely as heavily upon Efron’s previous roles as much, but it’s still going to feel really familiar. That’s because it’s pretty much a reverse remake of both BIG and BACK TO THE FUTURE, with a little bit of the recent FREAKY FRIDAY thrown in. (I’d also like to name check the Fred Savage Judge Reinhold body switching classic VICE VERSA.) The old guy gets young, befriends his son and fights off the unknowing incestual advances of his hot daughter.
The movie lives in genre clichés, so there’s not really anything new here to criticize, though it does handle some of the comedic situations quite poorly. Watching Efron hit on his adult wife, talk to his daughter about her sex life, and become BFFs with his son comes off as more painful and awkward than funny. The young actor does okay with the material, it’s just not very strong to begin with.
As far as laughs go though, 17 AGAIN is a waste of normally funny people like Perry, Leslie Mann, Jim Gaffigan (playing weirdly serious) and Melora Hardin from “The Office.” The only person actually allowed to be remotely funny is “Reno 911’s” Thomas Lennon, who is amusing but not enough to elevate its watchability.
Also, you might be wondering what magical event turns Matthew Perry back in to a kid. Glad you asked! You see, he meets a magical janitor before falling in to a magical whirlpool. It doesn’t really matter because it’s never explained and you never really see the janitor again. Plus Perry’s nerd friend figures the situation out immediately thanks to his knowledge of "transformation magic" and "spirit guides" from comic books.
“Way Cool” Trivia Track: An interactive feature that pops up little behind the scenes tidbits, cast bios and random 80s trivia. Do not need.
Zac Goes Back: A basic Making Of feature with interviews and behind the scenes footage. Efron explains that he was tired of playing high school kids, so he decided to branch out and play a 37 year old playing a high school kid.
Going Back to 17: The cast reminisces about their favorite high school memories, accompanied with embarrassing photos from their teen years.
Zac’s Dance Flashback: A deleted scene so special they had to turn it in to its own feature. Shockingly, it’s a choreographed dance sequence with Zac Efron.
Outtakes: Mostly Efron laughing at Thomas Lennon. Also Jim Gaffigan is finally allowed to be funny.
Additional Scenes: 13 deleted and extended scenes. Nothing of real value, mostly more with his kids.
Extra Tidbit: Michelle Trachtenberg plays Zac Efron’s daughter and is two years older than him. She’s also hot.