Rated 2.0

A new kid at a Florida high school (Logan Lerman) is befriended by a brother and sister (Cody Linley and Brie Larson) who are trying to stop the building of a restaurant that threatens the habitat of some burrowing owls. Writer-director Wil Shriner (adapting Carl Hiaasen’s young-readers novel) has an appealing and timely ecological message, but he wraps it up in a clumsy and slovenly package. The three leads are likable, but they can’t overcome a slapdash story or some wild overacting by the likes of Luke Wilson, Tim Blake Nelson, Neil Flynn and Clark Gregg—all of whom have done good work before (so their shameless hamming here can be laid squarely at Shriner’s feet). Jimmy Buffett (who co-produced and makes a cameo appearance as a teacher) contributes some infectious songs on the soundtrack.