Recess: School’s Out (2001)

Recess Schools OUtReleased: February 16, 2001. Director: Chuck Sheetz. Stars (voices): Andrew Lawrence, Rickey D’Shon Collins, James Woods. Runtime: 82 min.

In elementary school, I’d rush home after school to catch one of my favourite after-school shows, Disney’s “Recess”. If only I had a PVR (the Canadian Tivo) back then so I didn’t have to rush home. And back then I got off school at 3:45 and practically my whole day was gone. Anyway, Disney is a studio that likes to give their children’s audience a movie of the famed show, as a sort-of farewell, in most cases. And it gives them a little extra money, not that they need it nowadays – since they own basically every property in Hollywood. (Their family channel has taken a serious dip in quality if you ask me, as “Gravity Falls” is the only decent show still making new episodes.)

“Recess: School’s Out” is one of the finest movies based on their TV show in the Disney vault, without much competition (“Vacation with Derek,” “Hannah Montana: The Movie”). The plot is very simple, much like the show itself. The trouble-making TJ Detweiler (Andrew Lawrence) is left behind by all his friends as they go off to summer camp for the first bit of summer vacation. After seeing some ominous goings-on at Third Street Elementary, and after Principal Prickley is “kidnapped,” he enlists his help of his pals to save him. And little do they know it at the time, to save their summer vacation.

The main villain James Woods has well-explained motivations for his villainous plan. He wants to get rid of summer vacation by altering the weather to make it always cold “like Canada and Antarctica.” (By saying Canada, that just shows how silly the writing can be. We have f*cking hot summers!) And his villainous plot just goes to show how easily holes can be poked through the writing. Summer vacation is still going to happen – rain or shine (or snow). Granted, they won’t be able to swim or anything – but it’s still no school. These plot holes won’t be prominent to the majority of children, but to anyone in the double digit age range, it’ll be obvious.

This movie is still entertaining and a good way to pass 82 minutes. It probably would be better enjoyed watched at the beginning of summer. (Which makes me think that initially releasing this movie in the middle of February is SO stupid.) It’s a usually funny ride with a cool music number at the end, and will be better enjoyed by the kids who grew up watching the TV show and are familiar with the antics of the Third Street School crew. To use one of TJ Detweiler’s coined phrases, this movie doesn’t whomp.


4 thoughts on “Recess: School’s Out (2001)

    1. Haha, me neither!! (But that might be because I probably didn’t know who James Woods was when I watched this movie as a kid…) It was really awesome to hear him.

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