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This is a pretty good movie to watch. It manages to combine drama with typical '80's comedy and entertainment. It however is not a movie that is without it flaws and it still does make some bad choices.

It's a bit weird. On the hand I really liked this movie but on the other I'm also still able to recognize it as a not so great movie. Problem is really with its story. It's main plot line just isn't the best one thinkable and it besides makes the movie unnecessarily difficult and serious at times. Besides, the overall movie gives you the feeling it has a bit too many different plot lines going on at times and the movie features 2 or 3 too many characters in it. It also makes the balance between its comedy and drama a bit uneven at times, though most of the time it still works out fine and refreshingly original, luckily.

Still its main premise and original intentions were just fine. Really, having an high school movie that is focusing on the teachers instead is more interesting and fun than it might sound to you. Besides, I really feel the movie managed to do a great job capturing the atmosphere at an high school and the tensions and relationships between teacher and students and the teachers among each other.

It's also a movie that is not afraid to criticize the system. It shows some of the things that are wrong with the school system and how flawed it actually is. And really, it's 28 years later and what has changed? This movie might had just as well been released last week.

But before I'm starting to give the impression this movie is a serious or heavy one, it only is so for half of it's time, or probably even less than that. The rest of the time it really is being filled by some '80's trademark comedy, that is going over-the-top with some of its events and certainly with its characters.

And the movie does really have a surprisingly big cast in it, with Nick Nolte in the main lead. But it's further more starring JoBeth Williams, Judd Hirsch, Ralph Macchio (the Karate Kid himself), Lee Grant, Morgan Freeman(!), Steven Hill and a still very young Laura Dern and Crispin Glover as well, among many others of course. And yes, all of the actors truly help to make this movie worthwhile to watch as well.

I just can't give it a very high rating though. It's just too flawed with its story for that and it doesn't always manage to keep its focus on the main subject and what the movie was all supposed to be about, which is a bit of a missed opportunity. That however doesn't mean that I can't recommend this movie to you as well. On the contrary quite really. It's still a perfectly watchable and unique little movie, you probably won't regret watching.

6/10

About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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