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17 Again
BLU-RAY disk
Aug 26, 2009 By: Jason Adams
17 Again order download
Director:
Burr Steers

Actors:
Zac Efron
Matthew Perry
Leslie Mann

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A guy who ruled his high school but squandered his life thereafter gets another chance to do it all over again and piece together his shattered family in the process.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
As a big fan of Chandler Bing, I’m always glad to see Matthew Perry get work; but at what cost? A Zac Efron starring teen comedy? True, Efron is known more for his dance moves and heartthrob status, but surely everybody deserves a chance. So, of course the first shot of 17 AGAIN features Efron shirtless and sweaty. And 30 seconds later he’s participating in a choreographed dance in the middle of his high school gym. That’s the last time I give anyone the benefit of the doubt.

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.
THE EXTRAS
“Packed with Zac!” the Blu Ray cover proclaims. Yay!

“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.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
If you enjoyed BIG, BACK TO THE FUTURE and FREAKY FRIDAY and would like to see an inferior mish mash of all three, 17 AGAIN is your ticket to happiness. Or if you want to see Zac Efron in HD, ditto.

Extra Tidbit: Michelle Trachtenberg plays Zac Efron’s daughter and is two years older than him. She’s also hot.
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