Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Under 250: Gentlemen Broncos

I was optimistic about Gentlemen Broncos. Napoleon Dynamite director Jared Hess seemed to be going back to low-rent basics, eschewing the Jack Blackisms of Nacho Libre in favor of off-kilter time warped middle America. The premise seemed ripe with absurdity: a home schooled boy (Michael Angarano) writes a sci-fi novel and enters it into a high school writing competition where its premise is stolen by a creatively challenged established genre author (Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords). On the outside looking in, it has all the makings of an instant cult classic. Bad outfits, Clement acting in full-on pomposity, horrendous sci-fi art, and an insane student grade reenactment of the novel in question. Once you get in, however, you realize you're watching the film slowly commit artistic suicide. The side characters become unwatchably quirky as our supposed hero exists as a black hole of personality. He's forgettable and bland, leaving the work to Clement (who is perhaps the film's saving grace, and spot-on as a caricature) and an oddly-cast Sam Rockwell, who elicited the most snickers as a flamboyant, reindeer-riding hero searching for his stolen gonad. Past the issues with character, the story is a mess and the humor frequently falls back on toilet references and exploding bodily fluids. Napoleon Dynamite succeeded mostly because it was so deadpan, so odd, that you couldn't help but find the comedy. Gentlemen Broncos doesn't seem to know that the plot alone would have been enough fodder for comedy. While, thanks to Clement and Rockwell, there are indeed amusing moments, the film is largely a failure. Alarmingly juvenile and frequently downright gag inducing, there's too much poorly placed shit & vomit for Hess to ever pull his third effort out of the gutter.  If we cut everything down and made a movie solely out of Jemaine Clement....we would have had comedy gold.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...