" Sure we coulda been famous and made albums and stuff, but that would have been predictable "
— Robert Arkins, The Commitments

MRQE Top Critic

Wild Hogs

The movie manages to stay on course but the DVD's extra features are road kill —Matt Anderson (DVD review...)

Three middle-aged guys drag their Wild Hogs across country

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Hi there! I’m the real life Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius, and ya just gotta see my new animated movie! I mean, how can you pass on a movie in which all the parents disappear?

Jimmy Nerdtron

Caution: boy genius at workYeah, I know that’s an insult. My full name is James Isaac Neutron and some kids (let alone parents) just don’t understand me. I’m a small kid with a big head (well, wait, we all have big heads in this movie), but I actually have a really big brain inside my big head and that scares some people.

That goes double for Cindy; she was the smartest student in class until I came around. She’s mean to me. There’s a word for girls like her, but I won’t use it here.

And then there’s Nick, a chain-sucking bad boy who thinks he’s dark and mysterious. Yeah, well, if that’s the case, then my question to Nick is, “If you’re so bad, why do you wear a helmet when you’re skateboarding?” I think he’s more a mama’s boy than I am – and when the gum hits the pavement, I bet he’d be the first to start crying.

I want to make the world a better place and with inventions like Bubble Travel, the Automated Toothbrush, the Shoebot, the incredible Burping Soda, and all sorts of other stuff, I’ll be able to revolutionize the world and how we live in it! Oh yes. The world will be mine.

What else should I tell you about myself? I created my own robot dog, Goddard. He’s my very own R2-D2. He’s so life-like, he even poops nuts and bolts! I’m also really proud of my girl-eating plant. It’s kinda like Audrey II, except it’s smart enough to sniff out only the girls. Gee whiz, just think! A world without those gross, cootie-ridden creatures!

He Blinded Me With Science

Based on my real world experiences, the movie is animated because, gosh, to make it with real people would be far too expensive.

But, it’s still a mostly-hip endeavor and we paid a great deal of attention to the details. The set decorator did a great job and decorated our bedrooms with posters of some of the best bands around, including Outta Sync and Space Girls. Unfortunately, when it came time to burn the soundtrack, we had to settle for stuff by *NSync and Backstreet Boys.

I’m also a little disappointed that we had to cave into the Viacom empire and put in shameless plugs for Nickelodeon’s TV Land and recruit the vocal talents of Entertainment Tonight’s Mary Hart and Bob Goen for a TV-show-within-the-movie called YT. Well, maybe in the sequel I’ll have more clout and we can do things without the corporate sponsorship.

Anyway, the story revolves around the time all the parents were abducted by space aliens. It happened when all us kids were at the grand opening of this really neat amusement park called Retroland. It’s got all the great rides, like Gotta Puke, Show Me the Mummy, and Bat Outta Heck.

Uhhh… yeah… the whole parentnaping thing was kinda my fault, but we don’t need to go there.

Having no parents around was great for a while, but then some kids started taking advantage of the situation. You know. By doing crazy things like wearing clothes that don’t match in public, peeing in the shower, running tighty-whities up the flag pole, and eating waaay too much sugar products and drinking way too much soda.

In no time, there were zombie-like kids walking the streets in sugar shock, suffering from brain freeze, constipation, and all sorts of other owies.

To Infinity And Beyond!

Oh wait, I copped that from another animated franchise. Sorry. But it gets the point across ‘cause we go into outer space and take on these really ugly green things that are led by this nasty villain who has the same voice as Patrick Stewart, the bald buy from Star Trek: The Next Generation. His Number One is a mindless goon who sounds just like Martin Short (who in real life does that creepy talk show host, Jiminy Glick, on cable TV).

These aliens are such high-grade pure evil, they want to totally embarrass us by taking control of our parents’ minds (is that such a hard thing to do?) and make them dance to polka music before feeding them to this huge monster that’s a cross between Godzilla and a chicken. Yikes!

I can’t tell you how it ends, but you can take a guess.

OK, I’ll be honest. My movie doesn’t have the same kind of sophisticated humor that made Shrek and Monsters, Inc., such huge mega-movies. We’re going for a different, younger demographic here and we’re using our own formula, the Nickelodeon Formula that (even I must admit) overplays potty and slime humor and gives older people a bum rap.

But don’t get me wrong! Kids are welcome to bring their parents and chances are they won’t get bored if they’re young at heart. There are plenty of good-humored jokes that kids who aren’t as smart as I am won’t catch, but their parents will.

And, while it’s not as groundbreaking on the animation front as that swamp ogre’s movie, my tale is imaginatively told, colorful, and fast paced. It’s not groundbreaking, but it’s light years ahead of the Rugrats.

One final thought: My cinematic journey might be a little hyper and youthful, just like me, but it’s a happy movie. And that’s the important thing.