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Review: Action Point

Action Point
2 10
 

PLOT: A reckless amusement park owner tries to save his own business and a strained relationship with his daughter, all in one summer.

REVIEW: On paper, ACTION POINT sounded like a reasonably entertaining idea. It let the older Johnny Knoxville revive some of his previous sight gags, and more than a few injuries. It also brings a bit of nostalgia if you remember movies like MEATBALLS, HOT DOG… THE MOVIE and REVENGE OF THE NERDS. However, the final product is a bore of a film that is utterly predictable, exceptionally cheap and frankly, it is a humorless affair. At one point during the screening I attended, a few people from the small paying crowd decided to walk out and not come back. For the rest of us that stayed, there was hardly a laugh to be heard, aside from an occasional chuckle at the repeated pratfalls of Knoxville.

We first meet D.C. (Knoxville) as an old man - complete with make-up - watching his granddaughter. He tells her a story about when her mother, his own daughter came to visit him for one summer. When she arrives, we quickly establish that she is a child of divorce, and of course dear old dad wants to show her a good time. However, his good time mostly involves a wild theme park he owns called Action Point, which he can barely afford. And shockingly, a rich dude is desperate to buy the land. Will D.C. and his daughter Boogie (Eleanor Worthington-Cox) save the park and save their strained relationship? The better question may be will you care?

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There is no shortage of dumb comedies about a ragtag group of kids trying to save some sort of establishment - the South Park “Asspen" episode did a brilliant job of breaking that down in a funny way. While it is a tired plot, it is one that has been used successfully by a number of funny features. The problem with ACTION POINT is that the plot itself feels as if it is an afterthought. In other words, it’s been awhile since fans have seen Knoxville get busted up, so throw that in perhaps you’ll have curiosity seekers. Considering he isn’t a twenty-year-old prankster anymore, you have to give him credit for trying to bring a level of maturity to this humor.

The father-daughter aspect can be a nice touch, and I did find a bit of charm in the casting of Knoxville’s on-screen daughter Worthington-Cox. Although I could be wrong, but I thought giving the main actors a slight southern dialect was a bit odd, especially since they’d occasionally disappear or change. This is not the type of film that you see for the performances of course, but for the most part the actors involved aren’t terrible. Ironically, my favorite performance was probably fellow Jackass alumni, Chris Pontius. Although he was pretty much playing a version of himself, but his little fling with a very pretty girl named Mia (Camilla Wolfson) was sweet.

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Another problem is the tone of the film. You see, when you look at this type of gross out comedy, all of it is usually big and broad. For ACTION POINT, the villainous rich guys are so moronic and hardly touched upon that they almost feel pointless - more of a distraction really. And then you have the gang that works at Action Point. While they are certainly colorful characters, most of them seem to be enjoying a hit of weed and mellowing out as opposed to playing outrageous comedic characters, unlike the villainous baddies. The entire plot point of taking the park from a dude that just wants kids to play whether it is safe or not, just feels slightly extraneous.

ACTION POINT is a misfire of a movie. The stunts are minor - although some of the off-screen injuries were very real - and are nothing like the outrageousness of Jackass. Yes watching Knoxville smack his head or get thrown from a moving ride will still offer a laugh or two, but this won’t please the hardcore fans of the series. The only other thing it offers is the recycled plot that is borrowed from a number of similar themed movies. There may be a statement here about how we take ourselves too seriously, but it wasn’t interesting enough to really register. With a less than hour and a half running time, this is a dull and tired, generic and rarely funny summer comedy that would have been more appropriate as a Crackle original.

Source: JoBlo.com

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