Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Drillbit Taylor (2008)

Directed by Steven Brill. This is not as bad a film as you may have been led to believe. By no means is it great, but it's got a laugh or two in it and if you start watching it at about 4PM on a Saturday you'll be done with it before 6PM and you'll have your whole evening in front of you. How's that for an endorsement?

As far as I can see, Steven Brill, who directed this, has a long record as an underachiever. He wrote those "Mighty Ducks" movies, which even I won't see, and he directed the Adam Sandler movie "Little Nicky" (2000), which I made it about 15 minutes into before I declared it an assault on my senses. There are very few movies I just give up on, but "Little Nicky" was just hideous to look at, listen to and humorless.

Another Sandler vehicle by Brill, "Mr. Deeds" (2002), is a bit better, as well as "Without a Paddle" (2004). I'd put "Drillbit Taylor" on that level. About where Little Debbie ranks as a packaged snack cake -- it's edible and even enjoyable under strict conditions but you better go into it knowing what you're getting yourself into.

The basic story is this; the fat kid, the smart kid and the funny kid are being bullied so they hire a bodyguard, everybody learns a little bit about themselves, and good GOD, Danny McBride is in this movie too! It seems like he's in every damn movie made.

There are huge holes in the plot, tons of stuff here would not happen the way it shakes out, and the movie would be far more interesting if the bullies had a little more depth. This is basically a script that needs a few more drafts. There's no second act, there are a bunch of scenes that could get cut, and the dialog needs some serious funnying up. Owen Wilson rescues his scenes with personality and delivery. Drink during it.

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