1 February 2005 | mostlyxharmless
What if KIDS was rated PG-13?
Suburbs, Skating and ESCAPE are the themes that fuel the directorial debut of Clark Walker. The story follows a group of friends bound by their passion of skating. Matt and company desperately want out of Levelland, Texas. To escape from the monotony of the suburbs, Matt company resolve to building ramps (with stolen materials.) Trespassing, and hitting the highways of Texas. The films successfully shows the diversity of the suburban culture and the isolation of the modern day youth.
The thing that I liked best about this movie was its heavy 80's era punk soundtrack. Sporting Black flag, Minutemen, Replacements and more. Overall the general storyline is easy to follow and works well. Being a kid from the suburbs i can relate to how much the characters want to escape from the plastic, cookie cutter life the suburbs provide.
Now this movie wasn't perfect by any means. Watching the film, it becomes obvious that this is Walker's first attempt at direction. Lackluster acting and bad dialog plague this film as slopping editing. Although halfway through the film i started seeing a significant improvement in the films quality as they become more comfortable acting and directing. The film severely redeemed itself in its second half from horrible to okay. I also had problems with Character development. So many characters were left UNDER developed. I knew so little about the supporting cast, while there were several tries to further develop them, they fell flat. As far as editing, there was tons of scenes and subplots that could have been left on the floor that could have made this nearly 2 hour long movie a more bearable 90 minute film. The subplot with Matt and his teacher did nothing for me what-so-ever, and felt pushed. Only in the film to give it more edge. Putting more drug usage would have made this film more believable and given it more credible "edge" that it needed.
Overall, this PG-13 KIDS set in the suburbs, was and alright indie film. I think this film will find its cult audience in the suburban kids it portrayed. A muddy first film, that will definitely will find its place among fans of the punk rock classic SUBURBIA, directed by Penelope Spheeris, who went on to do a great many films. So watch out for up and comer Clark Walker as i expect he may have a few more excellent films up his sleeve.