(The Disneycember logo is shown, before showing clips from The Even Stevens Movie)
Doug (vo): I've never seen one episode of Even Stevens. All I know about it is that Shia LaBeouf is in it, and a lot of people find it annoying. Well, now we have The Even Stevens Movie, Shia LaBeouf is in it, and I find it really annoying. I have no idea if this is an accurate representation of what the show was like, but if it is, I'm glad I skipped it. I can't say, like, this is one of the worst comedies I've ever seen because, you know, the Wayans are still working. There's plenty of other comedies that, like, hurt me and get under my skin. This is...just kind of dumb.
Doug (vo): The story centers around the Stevens family trying to figure out what they're going to do over summer vacation. Looking like they're gonna drive each other up the wall, a travel agent, played by Tim Meadows, offers them the chance to go to an exotic island totally free. The Stevens, not exactly being the brightest family, agree without asking if there's a catch. Of course, there is. It's all secretly a reality show, a prank show that secretly focuses on making any family's life who's on it a living hell. They rig it so it looks like they destroy a house, anger the natives, and thus, have to go through several punishments, survive on their own, and get through without murdering each other.
Doug (vo): On the surface, this sounds like a funny idea. The writers definitely know the more they can make the characters suffer, the funnier it'll be. But sadly, a lot of it just has awkward timing, weird jokes, annoying sound effects, sped up action, weird characters just doing weird things because it's...weird. But none of it is done in a crazy enough way to get a laugh like in Ren & Stimpy. But none of it is done in a smart enough way like Malcolm in the Middle. We just kind of watch scene after scene of joke after joke bomb after bomb. I guess I can give it this. When a joke misses, it doesn't...hurt to sit through it. It's just kind of dull and lame, and usually followed by a bad sound effect.
(Several scenes showing the Stevens family are shown)
Doug (vo): I can't really blame the actors. I mean, they're doing their best, and sometimes, they do get a laugh. I mean, these are really good shouters. I mean, like, every other line is a shout and, by God, they do it pretty well. But aside from an occasional giggle here and there, there's not that much to it.
(Several scenes showing the film's climax are shown)
Doug (vo): I was kind of surprised to find that the climax did get legitimately humorous. The sister goes insane and chases after the brother, all while the reality show people are watching it, trying to figure out if they can get sued for it. On top of that, when they do figure out it's a reality show and try to figure out a way to get them back, it's a pretty funny payoff, one that has a lot of punchlines that just keep going and going and get funnier and funnier. Even the epilogue got funnier, like when Shia LaBeouf is talking to his sister.
Doug (vo): I feel like the rest of the movie is trying to have that randomness and that wild energy, and while the energy is definitely there, particularly in the actors, again, you can tell they're trying their all, it just doesn't feel like it's guided in the right direction. I was mostly just sitting there bored out of my mind, thinking of funnier jokes they could've put in place of the ones they had. So do I hate it the same way other adults hated Even Stevens? I can't go that far. Like I said, there is definitely an effort being put in. But it's almost like there's this awareness that, "Oh, we're making this for kids, so we have to make it a little dumber, a little slower. Put in sound effects and god-annoying music, I mean, really friggin' annoying music." Elements like that may seem minor, but they can make a big difference in getting a laugh or no laugh. For me, I did get a few laughs, but definitely not enough for me to recommend it.
(A scene showing the Stevens family arguing at their dinner table is shown)