Three O’Clock High (1987)

DailyView: Day 328, Movie 470

I saw this film mentioned on Twitter the other day and I looked into it on Vudu. Historically, as a teacher, I do not like movies set at a school that featured part of the plot that would never happen in a million years, and Three O’Clock High has plenty of moments like that. However, there was just something charming about the film, which is clearly not great, that made me ignore those times throughout when I rolled my eyes and just enjoy the basic story.

Jerry Mitchell (Casey Siemaszko) was a nerdy high school student who was in charge of the school student store at Weaver High School. The infamous new student Buddy Revell (Richard Tyson) came in with a reputation for being a bad boy filled with violence. Jerry was assigned to get an interview with him for the school paper and all hell broke loose.

Jerry touched Buddy on the shoulder and it was known that Buddy had a thing about people touching him. Buddy immediately scheduled a fight with Jerry at 3 o’clock in the school parking lot. Panicked, Jerry spent the entire day doing things unlike him to try and get out of the fight.

There are so many things that happen in this day that just would never happen, even in a fantasy film that happen here. There is a whole thing about a switchblade knife that, even back in 1987, would have sent Jerry home with a suspension, not just released back to the classes. The whole book report fiasco would never have been allowed, nor would the results of the situation.

There was a whole Buddy cheating off of Jerry bit that, apparently, Buddy did not need to do. That entire plot point made no sense whatsoever.

The fight itself after school would never have happened the way it did either. To ask the audience to accept all of these ridiculous premises stretched the boundaries of credibility.

And yet I did not hate it. There was something about poor sap Jerry that was relatable and made for someone to root for. He was the underdog and the pathetic protagonist that we hoped could overcome his troubles. Buddy made for a good villain, even though everything about him was contradicting what we thought we knew about him as a character.

I’d like to think that most of the most was some kind of daydream or exaggerated fantasy, but there is no indication that this film was doing that. Mixing this together as some kind of adolescent dream makes the silliness make more sense.

It is no doubt a stupid movie. However, if you could get past the obviously ridiculous situations, there are things to like about the film. It is a painless watch and has a couple of interesting performances.

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