“Drillbit Taylor” is a Drill Bit, Urbanely

Genres: Comedy
Running Time:
1 hr. 42 min.
Release Date:
March 21st, 2008 (wide)
MPAA Rating:
PG-13 for crude sexual references throughout, strong bullying, language, drug references and partial nudity.
Distributors:
Paramount Pictures

Directed by: Steven Brill

JJ Rating: B

First day of high school and two friends encounter the school bullies. They save a boy from being shoved in a locker and that was a mistake. For weeks they are tormented by the bullies. So they finally came up with an idea to hire a bodyguard. Drillbit Taylor.

Superbad’s characters are reprised in this film. The same three guys are in this film slightly altered for the PG-13 crowd. That is a mark against this film. It’s written by one of the same guys, Seth Rogen. As a writer I understand how easy it is to go back to the familiar. I think what happened here was one of the writers (Seth Rogen) went back to the familiar a tad too soon. This repression of being bullied, or whatever is going on, has gotta stop.

I understand not liking people and wanting to get back at them, not only with being successful but with humor, but I just think that if that’s going to be something that is sought after; at least make it worthy of being viewed.

Drillbit Taylor is not horrible by any means. It’s not laugh out loud fantastic. It does reveal a couple of good actors, though. There are the three friends: Ryan (Troy Gentile), Wade (Nate Hartley), and Emmit (David Dorfman). Gentile, Hartley and Dorfman do a great job of being funny, nerdy and cheer-them-on-underdog worthy. They had good chemistry with one another and with Owen Wilson (who played Drillbit Taylor). Then there are the bullies Filkins (Alex Frost) and Ronnie (Josh Peck) who are vicious in look as well as in action. They are not evil mean where they say vile things and are hated beyond words. No, they are obnoxious mean. They show up when they are not wanted and say things that an annoying brother would say over and over again just to grate on your nerves. The actors had the right faces for the parts. They just glared and they looked like they could be bullies in school.

Owen Wilson has that mean to kids but the kids think he’s joking ability. He’s able to say things but kids (even high schoolers) find the humor in what he says and not take him seriously. I guess one could say it’s his charm. He was good for the role; the role just wasn’t really good enough for him.

The actors were not where the problem was with Drillbit Taylor.The problem was the story itself and the lack of good scenes throughout. It had that stagnant feel to it. It looked like a movie that could go somewhere unexpected but it just never did. It huffed and it puffed like the wolf but it could not and did not bring the house down roaring with laughter. There were snickers and har hars. There was nothing roaringly funny as it should have been.

Drillbit Taylor’s story is simple and it seemingly follows a simple outline and doesn’t much deviate from that, which is why it is so bland. It could have had a couple of surprises or heartfelt moments or something that would have given it heart instead of the hollow chest it carved out for itself. It is a decent movie. One might not go wow that is my favorite but they certainly shouldn’t be thinking it was the worst because I can give you a good list of what are the worst movies ever made. I suggest not seeing it at full price. Go when it’s cheapest if you really feel the need to see it.

I will not host this movie on my shelf. I will have to forgo splurging for it. I liked most of the characters and it was not boring, but because it’s something I’ve seen before it won’t be interesting enough to stick out in my mind when people ask me what was the best movie of 2008. It lacks staying power and is every bit like its name: Drillbit Taylor.




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