Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Fred 2: Night of the Living Fred – review

Director: John Fortenberry

Release date: 2011

Contains spoilers

You know what? It might be my age… but I just didn’t get it. I had never heard of Fred Figglehorn – a character created for YouTube by Lucas Cruikshank and played by him in this. Turns out he was the focus of a comedy webshow, a six year old in a dysfunctional family. This got translated to him being a teen played by Cruikshank in this (and an earlier film).

As soon as he opened his mouth I wondered what the Hell I had let myself in for – this squeaky voice appeared, the most annoying sub-Pee-Wee voice, but… well it has vampires in it and it is aimed at a kid’s audience after all, and I should give credit where its due and… no, the voice is simply the most annoying thing I have ever heard.

Seth Morris as Mr Devlin
So Fred is now a teen who has discovered that his favourite music teacher, Mrs Felson (Irene Roseen), has been replaced by a Mr Devlin (Seth Morris). The reason that he liked her so much was because she liked his playing – she was deaf and never wore her hearing aid. Mr Devlin has moved into a house near Fred. Fred also feels he is being stalked by a young girl, later revealed to be called Talia (Ariel Winter).

Lucas Cruikshank as Fred
Mr Devlin starts offering private piano lessons and Fred feels a rivalry with a bullish young man called Kevin (Jake Weary) – I understand that this harks back to the first film – but Kevin’s mother (Stephanie Courtney) is having a welcome to the neighbourhood party for Mr Devlin and Fred and his Mom (Siobhan Fallon) are invited. Whilst his Mom flirts with Devlin, Fred discovers that Talia is Kevin’s sister, this revelation leads to screaming histrionics.

the evil mansquito
Now, one of the problems that Fred has is an over-developed imagination. He speaks to his absent father who takes the form of WWE wrestler John Cena and who lives in a fridge. Essentially you can never tell what is real and what isn’t with him. He spots Devlin burying something in the backyard and assumes the worse. The next day at school he decides Devlin is a mosquito-man-alien and imagines himself spiked in the chest and drained… but this is not our vampire connection.

Dracula cereal for breakfast
Whilst eating some Count Dracula themed breakfast cereal he puts two and two together and gets vampire. The clues are obvious, as well as Devlin burying things in his yard, Kevin is sporting a Robert Pattinson hairdo (and so must have been turned) and Devlin carries an umbrella in the sun. He has a fantasy moment of the kids from school and Devlin as vampires, them all after Talia. He is there with a buff Jacob-esque body and turns into a toy dog to rescue her.

fighting Kevin the vampire
His obsession leads to Fred and his best friend Bertha (Daniella Monet) following his Mom and Devlin on a date (raw steak is consumed). Eventually there is an assault on a piano recital with a super-soaker of garlic sauce – this scene happens twice. It goes well in Fred’s head but leaves him a laughing stock in reality. Following this he is invited to Devlin’s for dinner and webcasts the event (until he loses his phone). He ends up liking Devlin but everyone else thinks the teacher is weird (or a vampire), due to the webcast, and he loses his job.

Fred the vampire
Fred’s plan then becomes one of convincing the world that he is a vampire so they’ll forget about Devlin. This works but the film codas with Devlin not casting a reflection (this might just be in Fred’s head again).

Cena as Fred's dad
The thing is… it just wasn’t really funny. It relied on the antics and voice of Fred and, candidly, for me it was like listening to someone running their fingers down a blackboard, again and again and again. The film gives the WWE some free publicity (not only is Cena in the film but a fantasy section takes place at a wrestling match). Overall I was less than impressed.

One assumes there are Fred fans out there, I apologise but I guess he is a love him or hate him character. I hated him and as the film hinges entirely on the character then I cannot score it highly. 2 out of 10.

The imdb page is here.


Alex said...

Christ Almighty, there's a sequel? I had only heard of the first one which looked horrendous. Check out Mark Kermode's review of it though, that's probably the only funny thing to come out of that mess.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Not only a sequel but murmurings of a TV show also... I'll cheeck out Kermode's review ;)

Brad Middleton said...

I'm impressed you made it through the entire movie! I'm 20 minutes in and I'm not sure I'll make it. I suppose preteen girls like this? Because I can't think of anyone else who would!

Taliesin_ttlg said...

Brad, honestly sometimes I think I should add a banner that I watch 'em so you don't have to... this would probably come under that :)

DTG Sakalasooriya said...

This film has gotten me to laugh every time I play it! It is a wonderful family film and I love it.

Taliesin_ttlg said...

DTG - as I said Fred is a love or hate him characetr. I hated him (and subsequently the movie), I'm glad you loved him however - if we all liked the same things the world would be boring.