Monday, 7 April 2008

Drillbit Taylor Review

Prolific is a word that you could readily associate with Judd Apatow. Whereas actors can jump from project to project, sometimes churning out 4 to 5 films a year, for a writer, producer, director to do the same is a seldom seen thing. Yet in the past 12 months he's had a hand in Talledega Nights, Walk Hard, Superbad, Knocked Up. Within the month we'll have Forgetting Sarah Marshall to add to the ever growing list. So is the guy awesomely talented or is there a hit/miss ratio here that needs to be addressed?

Drillbit Taylor deals with three loser kids, the fat one, the geeky one and the weedier than Snoop Doggs cigarettes one all being bullied by uber pyscho Filkin (played by Elephants Alex Frost). When the japes the bully chooses to get the kids within begin to get out of hand the dweebs opt to hire a bodyguard. Sadly with only pocket money to fund this they have to settle for Drillbit Taylor, a homeless guy with delusions of grandeur. Drillbit, while playing the kids at first, soon becomes attached to them, attached to a teacher in their school and more attached to living a life away from the gutter.

I could watch Owen Wilson in just about anything (save Armageddon, the Aerosmith song makes me want to kill) and here he is again being goofy and adorable like a labrador with a wonky nose. While recent events have led to an intense look in his eyes you can't quite ignore, the film doesn't entirely rest on his shoulders, so any such dark analysis is quickly forgetton as the kids take centre stage. What we are left with is a family movie much like School of Rock but with a little slightly meaner streak. After all, the bullying dished out and given back to Filkin and his cohort are easily the films funniest moments.

Coming on like Superbad:The Early Years, the film is certainly not the car crash that some reviewers have stated it is. The fundamental flaw is that its is an 'Apatow film' therefore comparisons will be made to his more succesful, and crucially, more grown up work. But if you take Drillbit as the 10-15 age bracket that this reviewer so clearly thinks it is intended you'll see a well meaning, moral message movie that anybody under the age of consent will lap up. Oh and because I've only mentioned about 10 films to show off my movie knowledge try this one, 'a light heartened, Hollywood version of A Room for Romeo Brass.' Or maybe not.

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