Movie of the Day – Totally Awesome
August 11, 2012 2 Comments
I have some apprehensions about posting this movie for today. On one hand, it’s not that great of a movie. A cavalcade of cliches from the 80s that just don’t fully make the rotation from being referential to becoming a full blown joke. It misses the mark a bit more than it does hitting it so it might not be for everyone. On the other hand, Tracy Morgan is at his funniest in this movie and had me laughing when he came on screen.
So yeah, let me save you some time and show you the best part of this movie.
As the Gunderson family sets out on a cross-country road trip to their new home, boyishly handsome Charlie (Mikey Day), blossoming dancer Lori (Dominique Swain), and highly intelligent Max (Trevor Heins) all have their own ideas of what life will be like in their new town. When Charlie is singled out as the least popular senior on the very first day of school, kindly outcast Billie (Nicki Clyne) amiably agrees to show him the ropes and provide him with an illuminating crash course in the clique system. Meanwhile, Lori is shocked to discover that dancing has been banned in her new town and the only place to cut loose is at the clandestine dance sessions held in the garage of current janitor and former dance instructor Gabriel (Chris Kattan). Immediately forbidden from attending the highly secretive shindigs, Lori stealthily sneaks out to be with the kindly Gabriel as her feelings for the dance instructor grow and the pair set into motion a clever plan to usher in a new era of dancing around town. When Charlie vows to win the heart of popular girl Kimberly (Brittany Daniel) by competing against her athletic boyfriend, Kipp (Joey Kern), in the upcoming school decathlon, lovelorn Billie quietly pines for the clueless newcomer from afar as he begins a rigorous training regiment with Japanese gardener Yamagashi (James Hong). As his family struggles to adjust to their new life, reclusive genius Max continues working on a highly advanced home computer that soon draws the attention of the CIA. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Man this movie was all over the place in terms of how much spoofing they wanted to accomplish. Basically taking the entire span of 80s movies and condensing it to this film kind of hurt it’s chances to be a fully, accomplished comedy spoof, but it was enjoyable in seeing how many different tropes and plot lines you can guess from which movie it came from. It was a great attempt that yielded some small enjoyable moments but is just cluttered.
For me thought, Tracy Morgan stole the show as the mentor to the main lead Charlie in how to be cool and black. Say what you will about Morgan, but he has his moments of brilliance in comedic films. This compilation below of his screen time, outtakes, and ad libs are just hilarious and I wish they would have let him just do what he wanted and kept in the movie.
Overall, Totally Awesome probably is something that you find playing all the time on VH1 or at the one dollar rental section of a non-existent video store. It is still enjoyable if you like to flex your movie knowledge and guess where each plot line or movie reference comes from. I said it before that the movie misses more than it hits, but then again I was expecting a solid, honest spoof of 80s movies but got a parade of references that are just more there than fleshed out jokes. Still little moments of excellence make up for the shortcomings and I still contend Tracy Morgan to be the funniest of the entire film. Also I will give Chris Kattan a little bit of love as the Patrick Swayze of the film. Good times.