By David Hiltbrand, The Philadelphia Inquirer –
Nickelodeon’s made-for-TV boy band, Big Time Rush, stretch their skinny legs, graduating to a movie format with a London setting, an espionage plot and even a sprinkling of Beatles songs. All served up with their usual goofy mirth.
The premise is that James, Carlos, Kendall and Logan are scheduled to kick off their world tour at Hyde Park.
But before the guys can even order room service, they’re being hotly pursued both by the bobbies and by a small army of sinister spies.
Can they save the world and the abducted princess (alright, it’s really Kendall’s nobility obsessed little sister, played by scene-stealing Ciara Bravo) before it’s showtime?
“Big Time Movie” (8 p.m. EST Saturday) is loaded with James Bond gadgetry and gags. The spy stuff seems aimed over the audience’s head, so maybe it won’t matter that the accompanying special effects are so cheesy.
There are also bits of throwaway Beatles’ humor (a girl named Penny Lane, a henchman named Maxwell with a giant silver hammer where his hand should be) and bits of throwaway Beatles’ songs.
The boys, who have two CDs under their belts, do truncated vocal arrangments of “Help!,” “Revolution,” “We Can Work It Out” and “A Hard Day’s Night”. The music is thin but jaunty.
Again you have to wonder if the Fab Four’s music will resonate with today’s preteens.
There is a large arsenal of guns being waved around but fortunately all of them shoot only sleepy-time darts.
Mostly the film is built on highjinks, slapstick and doubletakes and the boys in Big Time Rush are quite adept at all that.
Carlos (Carlos Pena) is the most gifted comic; James (James Maslow) is the cute heartthrob. I’m assuming Kendall (Kendall Schmidt) is a good singer, because he’s growing up faster than the other boys and with his hatchet face, he now resembles Huntz Hall of the Bowery Boys.
The silliness in “Big Time Movie,” directed by Savage Steve Holland, is played a little too broadly but all that really matters is that the guys are irresistibly cute.
Or at least half of them are. Which in boy bands is a more-than-acceptable ratio.
BIG TIME MOVIE
8 P.M. EST Saturday