Fred 2: Night of the Living Fred

 
An improvement on the original, but Fred's still Fred.
  • Review Date: October 22, 2011
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2012
  • Running Time: 83 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The story follows the progression of a misunderstanding that leads to harsh judgment about a person's character. Fred uses the Internet to make a case about his teacher's supposed identity, but a technical mishap keeps the truth from being revealed, leading to more misunderstanding. On the upside, there are strong messages about friendship and respecting differences between people, as well as a positive example of correcting a mistake that's caused someone else harm.

Positive role models

Fred's mother is a lazy, surly character who only pops in to rile him up, call him insane, or remind him that being his single parent has been a less-than-rewarding experience. Fred himself is hardly a role model in general, but he does own up to his mistake and attempt to rectify a situation that hurt someone else.

Violence

Lots of slapstick mishaps (falling off a skateboard, running into doors, tumbling down stairs, etc.) and some roughing up (kicking, punching, body slamming) in a WWE-inspired scene. Fake blood gushes from a fake stab wound, and various cuts of meat are implied briefly to be human.

Sex

Some age-appropriate flirting between middle-schoolers, and Fred refers to himself as "hot" at one point. Fred's mom flirts shamelessly with one of his teachers and wears some trampy outfits to attract his attention, though there's no physical contact or outright mention of sex.

Language

Fred's catchphrases are meant to closely resemble cursing without actually committing the act. "oh my gammit" and "What the h - e - double hockey sticks?" are his favorites, and you'll hear them a lot. Other marginal words include "butt," "shut up," and "stupid."

Consumerism

Brief episodes of product placement or brand mention include Sunny D, Coke, Apple computers, and WWE. One scene shows a website called "BlueTube" that's meant to replicate YouTube. Fred's face and name grace a line of clothing and accessories marketed toward kids and tweens.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that if this is your tween's first introduction to YouTube sensation Fred Figglehorn, they may be inclined to check out the multiple online shorts that started the frenzy in the first place, as well as Fred's website for additional videos. If it's your introduction to the hyperactive, over-reactive character, don't be surprised if you're inclined to run from sheer irritation. That said, there is a thin silver lining in the fact that, compared to the original movie, this sequel is lighter on some of the content that most offended parents, and it does try to push some good social messages related to bullying and judging people as well as fixing your mistakes. The only thing the movie doesn't tone down is Fred's use of his own personal curse words, which include "Oh my gammit!" and "h - e - double hockey sticks," so be sure your tweens know your family's rules about swearing stand-ins like these.

What's the story?

FRED 2: NIGHT OF THE LIVING FRED follows the antics of Fred Figglehorn (Lucas Cruikshank), a madcap middle-schooler with a flair for the dramatic whose world is turned upside down when his beloved but incompetent music teacher goes missing and is replaced by a sketchy character named Mr. Devlin (Seth Morris). Everyone -- including Fred's starry-eyed mom (Siobhan Fallon Hogan) and his archenemy, Kevin (Jake Weary) -- has fallen under the suave Mr. Devlin's spell, but his unusual habits lead Fred to believe that he's a vampire, and Fred sets out to prove his hunch correct. When things get out of hand and the truth comes out, Fred calls on the help of his best friend, Bertha (Daniella Monet), and a new ally, Talia (Ariel Winter), to set things straight.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

YouTube sensation Fred returns to the screen in this sequel to Fred: The Movie, which serves up plenty more of the outrageous scenarios and pre-pubescent screeching that's made Fred (and Cruikshank) an Internet star. He's a hit with the tween set, much to the chagrin of plenty of parents who loathe both his flair for the dramatic and his use of his own variety of slang cursing. When it comes to this brand of comedy, you either love it or you hate it, and the line slices pretty close to the generational divide. Of course, that's partly due to the fact that tweens will pick out some of the stuff you might not notice, like spoofs of Twilight and cameos by some of their favorite actors from shows like So Random! and Supah Ninjas, but on the whole, it's just not a comedy style most parents will like.

 

If your tweens are already fans, there's little hope that they won't want to check out this sequel, but there is some good news. Compared to the original, this movie takes some care to tone down a lot of the content that was most unpalatable to parents. Fred's now the object of an innocent crush from a younger girl rather the instigator of a shockingly obsessive one, the issue of his mom's alcoholism never comes up (though she's still not Mom of the Year), he's more self-confident and less susceptible to bullying classmates, and overall, there are fewer episodes of his manic hyperactivity. What's more, the story incorporates some marginally positive messages about judging people, using the Internet responsibly, respecting differences, and taking ownership of your mistakes. Bottom line? It's still not really worthwhile, but at least it's a small improvement on the original.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about comedy. Do you think Fred's character is funny? Did you find this movie funny? How did it compare to the original? If you did like it, is it because of Fred or in spite of him?

  • Tweens: How has the Internet changed the way we're entertained? In what ways has it equalized the opportunity to become famous? Is Fred evidence of that? Do you think Lucas Cruikshank would have been successful in the pre-Internet days?

  • What, if any, incidents of advertising did you notice in this movie? Do you think they were there intentionally? Does product placement really impact your consumption habits?

Movie details

DVD release date:February 7, 2012
Cast:Daniella Monet, John Cena, Lucas Cruikshank
Studio:Lionsgate
Genre:Comedy
Run time:83 minutes
MPAA rating:G

This review of Fred 2: Night of the Living Fred was written by

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 13 years old Written bycoldir4 December 3, 2011
age 8+
 

Creepy kid went through puberty the wrong way

its okay for kids but fred is annoying as h_ll and he creeps the crap outa me
Kid, 10 years old November 9, 2011
age 10+
 

Oh My Gammit!

It's good but oh my gammit is just over the top.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Kid, 11 years old October 31, 2011
age 8+
 

rrrrrrrgh!

Seriously, don't you have anything ELSE to do?
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing

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