Underclassman

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2 1/2

Content: -1 1/2

Baby-faced police officer Trey Stokes (Nick Cannon) returns to high school in an undercover investigation in urban L.A., where a student was killed in a cars-for-drugs crime ring. Against his better judgment, Captain Delgado (Cheech Marin) gives this assignment to Trey, who has a history of using unconventional surveillance methods. It is impossible for Trey to blend into the crowd at this predominantly white private school, so he purposefully chooses to stick out, introducing himself as the “new black guy.” His brash streetwise mannerisms humorously irritate fellow students who do not want to accept him into their clique. Trey aims to become the new best friend of the big man on campus, Rob Donovan (Shawn Ashmore), to gain a strategic vantage point in his investigation. Spanish teacher, Karen Lopez (Roselyn Sanchez), gains Trey’s romantic interest and offers a little after-school tutoring.

With Cheech Marin, of “Cheech and Chong” fame, portraying a police captain and a responsible paternal adult, it doesn’t take long to realize that this movie is not intended to be a serious crime thriller. It’s a simple comedy. Nick Cannon’s charisma, charm and quick wit as an actor could result in Underclassman’s becoming a blockbuster hit. The objectionable language is not excessive, but it is there. Some of the comedy is sexual in nature, and the street jargon may be offensive to those who understand the words. There is a bit of teacher-student love interest between Trey and the Spanish teacher. A few comedic situations are in poor taste involving flatulence and two instances of someone defecating in the bushes. The violence is not gratuitous or gory, but Underclassman cannot receive a positive rating from Preview.

Preview Reviewer: Brian Hughes
Distributor:
Miramax

Summary
The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (25) times – mild (hell 6, damn 5); strong (-ss 11, b-tch 3)

Obscene Language: Few (3) times – moderate (cr-p 1, bite me 1); strong (s-word 1)

Profanity: Once – strong (GD 1)

Violence: Many times – mild (people steal merchandise and cars; several instances of shoving, struggling and kicking); moderate (several instances of fistfights, several instances of men hit in the face getting broken noses, shooting guns at others, people shot in the stomach and shoulder, man shot in the crotch with a nail gun); strong (truck explodes, car crashes through garage door, car explodes, boat explodes)

Sex: Few times – mild (man and woman kiss, implied underage student flirts with his female teacher, at a school dance students dance seductively and wear immodest clothing)

Nudity: Few times – mild (women in bikinis on the beach, topless women laying facedown sun tanning – one lady sits up but covers her breasts with her hand, ball player yanks down the pants of another player leaving him in his boxer shorts, man goes into the bushes to defecate and asks for pages from a magazine to clean himself)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Many times – mild (man wearing spandex talks about how the tight-fitting pants will cause his children to be midgets, man asks another man “is your daughter still fine?”, student says “it’s hard to focus in Spanish class because the teacher is so hot”); moderate (basketball players say a team prayer to God asking Him to allow all of them to get sex after the game); strong (guy asks another guy if his girlfriend gives sloppy blows – said very quickly and not easy to understand; while eating a plateful of crab, man says, “In my neighborhood ‘getting crab’ means something totally different”)

Drugs: Few times – mild (drug ring traffics a pill called “bliss”); moderate (some underage drinking)

Other: None

Running Time: 95 minutes
Intended Audience: Teens and adults


Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.