10 March 2013

Movie Review: "Radio Rebel"

Rated: Unrated
Starring: Debby Ryan, Adam DiMarco, and Sarena Parmar
Release Date: February 17, 2012 (Disney Channel); June 19, 2012 (DVD) 
Synopsis: Tara is just a shy girl who usually doesn't have much to say, and tends to avoid attention instead of seeking it.  What her classmates and teachers don't know is that she is Radio Rebel, a DJ who has her own podcast and urges others to be themselves and avoid simply being the status quo.  Her stepfather of two months finds out, and hires her to be on his radio station.  Though her popularity soars, some of her enemies, as well as her principal, are so unhappy that they will stop at nothing to find out who Radio Rebel is.  Will Tara be able to keep up the facade, or will her secret identity get revealed?

Story: 3/5
Though this isn't the best when it comes to story, I thought it was cool to have a flick that uses the secret identity device (i.e., Superman/Clark Kent) without being all about superheroes or even in the action/adventure genre.  That said, some of the characters were slightly annoying; Larry and Barry were like an unfunny version of Rutt and Tuke, the moose from Disney's Brother Bear.  Even some of the slang used was grating at times.  Still, the core story, for what it is, is good.

Production Values: 3.5/5
Though definitely not a summer blockbuster, Radio Rebel does pretty well for what it is.  All of the actors are at least passable, except for the lady who played the principal; she seemed like a Trunchbull (remember Matilda?) wannabe, and was not very convincing.  The soundtrack has some good songs, and a few mediocre ones.

Moral Content: 4.25/5
Since this movie was made for the Disney Channel, one would expect it to have clean content, and it pretty much does.  No profanity, no drug use, and hardly anything resembling violence.  Sexual content is limited to some innocent kissing and a few slightly immodest outfits.  Still, Tara and her best friend do show occasional disrespect for adults, which is worth noting.

Conclusion: Debby Ryan may be a young actress, but she already has an impressive résumé.  She has starred in two Disney Channel sitcoms--The Suite Life on Deck and Jessie--and Radio Rebel is the third movie of hers (that I know of, anyway).  Unfortunately, it is her weakest work; though the content is clean and the plot is decent, it still had a bit of a lackluster feel.  If you're curious about Ms. Ryan, I would suggest watching Jessie on the Mouse network, or watching her other films, 16 Wishes or What If…? Though definitely not a terrible movie, even fans of Disney Channel Original Movies can do better than Radio Rebel; I should know, since I am one myself.

Score: 3/5

No comments:

Post a Comment