Fast-Paised review: ‘Hoot'

Juvenile DelinquencyEntertainmentMoviesSocial IssuesJimmy BuffettSexLifestyle and Leisure

Big question: Florida teenagers delay the construction of a pancake house to protect the owls that live on the land. Based on a novel by the same name, is "Hoot"'s enviro-rebellion inspiring enough to make us give a hoot?

Skip it: "Hoot" teaches young boys to distance themselves from their parents and to let girls fight their battles for them. The film's only statement about animals? "We don't want them to die." Vandalism, kidnapping and resisting arrest are cheerfully presented as acceptable ways to fight the power, as long as it's for a good cause.

Catch it if: You think this sounds like a sensible account of a domestic squabble: "She threw a clock radio at his head, so I beaned her with a mango."

Bottom line: With crimes unpunished and rules broken by hormone-free teenagers more inclined towards activism than sex, "Hoot" is a cross between the world as kids wish it was and children as their parents would like them to be. You'll leave more worried about where to find good pancakes than about protecting the environment.

Bonus: Even if you disagree with its message, at least "Hoot" offers an adolescent hero nicknamed "Mullet Fingers" and Jimmy Buffett as a marine sciences teacher.

mpais@tribune.com

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'Hoot'

Directed by Wil Shriner; screenplay by Shriner, based on the novel by Carl Hiaasen; cinematography by Michael Chapman; edited by Alan Edward Bell; production design by Stephen Lineweaver; music by Jimmy Buffett, Phil Marshall, Michael Utley and Mac McAnally; produced by Frank Marshall and Jimmy Buffett. A New Line Cinema and Walden Media release; opens Friday. Running time: 1:30. MPAA rating: PG (for mild bullying and brief language)

Roy - Logan Lerman

Beatrice - Brie Larson

Mullet Fingers - Cody Linley

Curly - Tim Blake Nelson

Dana - Eric Phillips

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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