The James Patterson novel, “Middle School” brings you along through the struggling young teen Rafe and his family adapting to a new school and adjusting to the lose that they have experienced. Ever since Rafe’s brother died, he hasn’t been able to stay in a school for very long. He continues to stir up trouble in his new school when his drawing is seen by other students in the class. When Principal Dwight sees himself draw as a boring zombie, things shift. When Rafe’s notebook gets tossed into a bucket of acid by his new strict principal, he decides that he needs to “shred the rules” and ruin Mr. Dwight’s own book. This series of event lead to a collection of hilarious pranks that really stick it to the man targeting each of Dwight’s rules from creating post it art throughout the school to promote laundering to showering the whole school with the bright colors that Dwight had outlawed.
Image from CBS Films
The illustrations of Rafe’s drawings come to life to create an insight into the young teens mind whether we are seeing his imaginative mind or the angst he holds within. From the illustrations of running from his zombie principle while he tried to pull a stunt or dealing with bullies in class, the artistry creates the perfect transition between the reality and the imagination of Rafe letting us see into his mind through his creations.
This family comedy is full of twists and turns though the emotional journey of that Rafe is going through. Moving from school to school makes this even more of a challenge, always being the new kids can be pretty tough. These struggles are very relatable whether you are a mother of a teen or in middle school yourself. Rafe still succeeds is gain friendships and relationships with new people along with moving on with the loses that he has experienced. The film really displays that in the end everything will turn out alright though it make take many struggle whether its going to a new school or dealing with a crooked principal.
“Middle School” — 3 stars
MPAA rating: PG
Running time: 1:32
Opened: October 7th