October 19, 2016

Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life Review

Griffin Gluck

Another James Patterson property (like CBS’s “Zoo,” one wonders how much of its source material was actually written by the crime author and how much by the cottage industry), Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life should provide enough preteen wish fulfillment to please its target demographic. 

The accompanying adults may enjoy some of the more entertaining performances from Andy Daly (Comedy Central’s “Review”) and Adam Pally (“Happy Endings,” “The Mindy Project”). Those same adults will probably find the one-man revolution started by Rafe Khatchadorian (Griffin Gluck) to be rather silly. 

While single mother Jules (Lauren Graham), who is way too good for her sleazy boyfriend Carl, aka Bear (Rob Riggle, whose overbearing shtick is nearing the end of its shelf life), attempts to raise Rafe and his sister Georgia (Alexa Nisenson), Rafe is trying to get kicked out of another school for fighting the rules of Daly’s dictatorial Principal Dwight. With only his best pal Leo (Thomas Barbusca), his crush Jeanne (Isabela Moner) and cool teacher (Pally) to support him, Rafe uses his artistic abilities to wreak havoc on his school in the weeks leading up to the big standardized test. 

Some inspired animated sequences breathe enough life into Middle School to set it apart, but it is hard to see how this movie escaped a TV or VOD release.