Writer: Marilyn Anderson, Richard Rossner (Screenplay)
Starring: Pearce Joza, Amy Lyndon, Dan Glenn, Kim Hamilton, Grant McLellan, Jackeline Oliver, Kade Pait, Micah Lyons, Vince Donvito
Plot: This is a family comedy with an anti-bullying theme. When a new kid named Cory moves to town, he’s picked on by the school bullies. To protect himself, he doesn’t use his fists-he uses his brain instead! He scares the bullies off by fibbing that his father is a hit man for the mob. Word quickly spreads around and gets the attention of the REAL mobsters in town, too. Now his dad has the problem! As shenanigans between the family and the mobsters ensue, Cory must find a way to make things right. (Think “Home Alone” meets “The Sopranos.” But with NO GUNS! ) This is a broad comedy with lots of fun and physical humor.
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Delightful Family Film
Story: How to Beat a Bully starts as Cory (McLellan) moves with his parents Joe (Lauritzen) & Pam (Angell) to start a new life, we know Cory isn’t interested in moving but has to do what is best of the family. On starting his first day at school Cory finds himself the target of the bully Darryl (Tucker).
Cory comes up with a plan to stop the bully and his plan is to tell Darryl and the bullies that his dad is a gangster to strike fear into them. After his story starts to spiral out of control the whole neighbourhood goes out their way to be nice to the family without his parents even knowing.
How to Beat a Bully plays out like many of these kids struggling to fit into a new world and tries something drastic to change things. This does have a deeper meaning with the anti-violence to fight bully but also takes elements of what bullying can cause through words. The comedy comes from the story being made up by Cory as we see how everything gets out of hand thinking the family is Mafia works because the new to town concept. The highlight for me was the puns being used while they come off bad it is a sense of comedy I love to watch. This is one for the whole family to enjoy with laughs for all ages.
Grant McLellan: Cory is the young boy of the family who is not happy about moving, to make matters worse he starts getting bullied. To stop the bullies, he makes up the story that his father is from the Mafia making everyone start being nice to the family, but his little story turns heads of everyone in the town. Grant is good in this leading role which can be difficult in these styles of movies.
Ian Tucker: Darryl is the bully at the school that starts taking advantage of Cory but once the story about his father comes out. He starts worshiping Cory being the almost bodyguard at school. Ian makes for a good bully with the look to strike fear into fellow students.
Eric Lauritzen: Joe is the father of Cory, he is an insurance salesman but when Cory tells his story everyone in town turns him into the number one salesman before he gets mixed up with the actual local Mafia. Eric does a great job in this role where he comes off clueless to what is going on.
Elise Angell: Pam is the mother of Cory that has put up with Joe’s mistakes for years because he is an honest man, she has to take care of the house and the godfather before hearing the news of a local gangster. Elise is good in this role too where she keeps her to a more supporting role.
Support Cast: How to Beat a Bully has a good supporting cast that all do a good job with everything happening in the movie.
Director Review: Doug Bilitch – Doug gives us a good family film we can all watch.
Comedy: How to Beat a Bully has plenty of puns for the comedy which I did love.
Family: How to Beat a Bully is one everyone in the family can enjoy.
Settings: How to Beat a Bully puts the settings into a small town to show how difficult it would be for a young boy to fit in.
Suggestion: How to Beat a Bully is one for the whole family to enjoy having a little something for all. (Family Watching)
Best Part: The Puns are funny.
Worst Part: Fart jokes.
Chances of Tears: No
Chances of Sequel: No
Post Credits Scene: No
Oscar Chances: No
Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Overall: Family friendly film that can be enjoyed by all