By Kris Ashton
Itâ€™s clear depression really can afflict anyone, because Owen Wilson was born under a lucky star. Heâ€™s as ugly as an Alsatianâ€™s arse and yet heâ€™s considered a sex symbol. His comedic chops are limited at best and yet he is one of the genreâ€™s biggest stars. And heâ€™s no more than a competent dramatic actor, but critics seem to love him in his more serious roles.
Now Wilson brings his celebrated mediocrity to bear on a comedy for older pre-teens, ”Drillbit Taylor”. To judge by the synopsis, you might think itâ€™s a somewhat fresh idea: a group of nerds start high school and find themselves targets for two bullies. Tired of taking their lumps, they decide to hire a bodyguard to protect them. But with less than $100 to spend, the only person willing to accept the gig is Drillbit Taylor (Wilson) a bum who plans to fleece the kids of just enough money to start a new life in Canada.
From there, however, the storyline meters out clichÃ© after clichÃ©, recalling everything from ”Revenge of the Nerds” to ”The Karate Kid”. But what ”Drillbit Taylor” resembles most of all is a toned-down version of last yearâ€™s overrated comedy hit ”Superbad” â€“ perhaps no surprise, since Judd Apatow is a producer and Seth Rogen is co-writer.
”Drillbit Taylor” is not without an occasional amusing moment and there is a satisfying catharsis at the end, but itâ€™s â€˜head nerdâ€™ Nate Hartley who turns in a strong performance and keeps the movie more or less afloat throughout its running time.
Wilson, on the other hand, looks like heâ€™s half asleep or delivering his lines through a haze of downers. Not only does he struggle for laughs, his characterâ€™s relationship with teacher Lisa (Leslie Mann) is so unbelievable that even the target audience will have trouble swallowing it. Director Steven Brill (”Without a Paddle”) must also shoulder some blame for the weaker performances â€“ near enough appears to have been good enough in too many instances. In particular, he has committed to celluloid one of the most unintentionally awkward kiss-and-hug scenes ever.
Whatâ€™s most disappointing, though, is that ”Drillbit Taylor” feels like a missed opportunity. The writers took a terrific concept for an older kidsâ€™ movie and tried to smear its appeal across other demographics, resulting in poor thematic focus and wishy-washiness. No doubt there will be much worse films aimed at a younger audience this year â€¦ but they won’t have had as much potential in the first place.
”Drillbit Taylor” sprays a lot of bullets but doesnâ€™t hit many targets.
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Against the Current - the band, not adventures in dangerous swimming 101
Zedd - If our love is tragedy, why are you my remedy? (Well, answer my question!)
Arrow (Okay, Felicity from Arrow!)
Chrissy Costanza (cat eyes and buttery lyrics!)
Girls (TV) (Okay, Allison Williams!)
Movies - especially when they play in the dark.
Twin Peaks (TV)
Friends (TV) (It had me at "No way are you cool enough to pull Clint"; damn straight, Chandler!)
Traveling - preferably where water is, so I can splash someone!
Star Wars trilogy - no, the other one, fella!
Alex G - far more talented than her younger brother Alex H
Cameron Crowe movies - Say Anything..., Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous
The sign 'Free Wi-Fi'.
Reenacting dance/song scenes from "Grease" with my little girl (hey! Wait till you see my 'Summer Lovin'! - don't judge)
Die Hard - 40 stories of Sheer Adventure!
Alex Goot & Friends (his enemies aren't half as talented!)
Cooking up a nice dish and sitting in the entertainment area, on a cool night, basking in it's greatness.
Inflatable kids pools full of Vodka Lime Crush.
Acidic Email from angry, over passionate teenagers after I trash something "Twilight"-related on the site. Sparkle elsewhere.
My baby girl's big, caring heart.