Fun Size | Movie review
For Halloween, Nickelodeon caters to kids with short attention spans.
This Nickelodeon production may be designed for kids with short attention spans, but must the characters have them as well? Saddled with her little brother (Jackson Nicoll) for Halloween, high-school senior Wren (Nick TV actress Victoria Justice) attempts to make the most of it. But when the kid—who is mute, and also one of 10,000 children dressed as Spider-Man that evening—goes missing, plans to hit up the class stud’s party are put on hold. Rather than calling the cops, Wren and her eye-rolling bestie (Jane Levy) do what you or I would do: flag down two car-possessing nerds (Thomas Mann and Osric Chau) and crisscross Cleveland in pursuit. The notion that a child is parentless in one of the higher-crime-rate cities in America is given only intermittent weight. Instead, we get detours involving a fake gunfight at Captain Chicken; Mom’s encounter with a flatulent reveler at a separate party; Wren’s brother and an affable convenience-store clerk (Thomas Middleditch) playing pranks on Cleveland’s biggest bully (Johnny Knoxville); and the imperilment of one of the nerds’ lesbian moms’ asthmatic cat.
Obviously, adventures in baby-sitting needn’t be less wacky, but John Hughes minimums of craft—or even the slightest sense of urgency, so that the movie didn’t play as a series of disconnected sketches—might have helped this slack comedy earn its titular adjective. Playing a man who literally steals candy from a baby, Knoxville surely didn’t expect this would be one of the most Dada films of his career.