High School High

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2

The creators of AIRPLANE! and THE NAKED GUN attempt to spoof DANGEROUS MINDS and other school-related films in this inconsistent comedy. Jon Lovitz plays Richard Clark, an idealistic teacher who gives up a safe position at his father's academy to teach at Marion Berry High, an overwhelmingly depressed and tough inner city school. Even though his car is stolen seconds after he arrives, Clark believes he can make a difference with these students. His principal (Louise Fletcher) isn't so optimistic, but Clark's spirit attracts the interest of pretty administrator Victoria Chappell (Tia Carrere). Clark has especially high hopes for Griff McReynolds (Mekhi Phifer), a former gang member trying to turn his life around. The early parts of the movie, where the setting and Clark's character are established, provide some funny moments. But it seems like the writers quickly run out of ideas, and the second half, where Clark tries stop a drug deal, is painfully short on humor. Movie parodies like this really need wall-to-wall jokes in order to be successful, and HIGH SCHOOL HIGH falls considerably short of that mark.

With its dangerous environment, the film has many violent scenes, although mostly of the slapstick variety and played for laughs. The principal tries to keep her students in line by bopping them with a bat as they pass through the hallways. A gang member assaults Victoria and Clark comes to the rescue, but in the ensuing struggle he accidentally inflicts as much damage on Victoria as he does on her attacker. Clark disrupts a drag race between two students, with three cars plunging off a cliff followed by a huge explosion. The fireball burns the back of Clark's pants, leaving his buttocks exposed. A strip club scene features scantily clad female dancers. When Clark and Victoria become romantically involved, sexual intercourse is implied once. With this sexual content, and the many crude and obscene words used by the tough-talking students, this high school comedy earns a failing grade.

Preview Reviewer: Mark Perry
TriStar Pictures, 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (15) times Mild 5, Moderate 10

Obscene Language: Many (13) times (s-word 6, other 7, including 2 obscene gestures)

Profanity: Few (3) times Regular 1 (C 1), Exclamatory 2

Violence: Many times, Mild and Moderate (pushing and shoving, explosions, principal bops students with bat, electric shock, student cuts words in arm with knife, student attacks teacher, cars fall off cliff, fistfights, gunshot, gun threats, man punched, attempted strangulation)

Sex: Once, implied

Nudity: Rear male nudity; female rear nudity and near nudity with strip club dancers; low-cut dresses

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Man touches woman's clothed breast, students dance in sexually suggestive manner, man falls on woman in a sexually suggestive position

Drugs: Smoking, alcohol drinking

Other: None

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Teens and adults

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