The Battle of Shaker Heights Review
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There are a number of classic feel-good-fish-out-of-water-coming-of-age films that appeal to the awkward adolescent in all of us; unfortunately The Battle of Shaker Heights is not one of them. This latest Project Greenlight film endeavor doesn't even hold a candle, let alone sixteen of them, to the brat pack legacy.

To grasp the concept of Battle, imagine Screech from Saved by the Bell is suddenly possessed by the spirit of Breakfast Club bad boy John Bender with all his witticisms and defiant attitude toward authority. Add to this an affinity for WWII battle reenactments, an upper-class best friend and his eccentric family, a crush on an older woman, and the usual hardships of growing up. While it has all the makings of an intriguing film, it ends up delivering the typical dramatic teen comedy fare.

Kelly Ernswiler (Shia LaBeouf), the protagonist, is the only multidimensional persona in a film packed with uninspired characters and cliché scenarios. Regardless of his genuinely funny and well-executed performance, he lacks the stamina to carry the entire film alone. The result is entertaining, but unlike the Hughes films, which are classic portrayals of the tumultuous teen years, this film is utterly unmemorable.

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