Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Drillbit Taylor

I tried very hard to watch this movie with the mindset of my pre-teen's - every sarcastic comeback is probably hilarious that I'd be using by week's end, and every scene with the adults was no doubt boring, but slightly entertaining. This worked for the most part, but even at 13 I would have noticed the eerily similar plot structure and tone that DRILLBIT TAYLOR has in common with SCHOOL OF ROCK. Let me share the similarities:

In School of Rock, Jack Black pretends to be a substitute teacher.
In Drillbit Taylor, Owen Wilson pretends to be a substitute teacher.
In School of Rock, Jack is using the kids for his own rockstar purposes.
In Drillbit Taylor, Owen is using the kids for his own financial purposes.
In School of Rock, Jack teaches the kids how to play instruments and be a rock band.
In Drillbit Taylor, Owen teaches the kids how to stand up for themselves and self defence.
In School of Rock, Jack uses the quirky false name (albeit his roommate's) of Ned Schneebly.
In Drillbit Taylor, Owen uses the quirky false name of Dr. Ill Bit (I kid you not).
In both films, the kids turn their back on their mentors only to turn around and use their new found knowledge to overcome an obstacle, and eventually forgive their false hero's.

I could go on and on, but I think it's obvious that the framework had been set for DRILLBIT TAYLOR, Owen just had to show up and do his BOTTLE ROCKET/Dupree character again and keep it PG-13. But hey, if it ain't broke...

The kids, on the other hand, were actually funny and genuine - I especially loved the various musical theater t-shirts that Emmet modeled. They felt a bit naive and sweet, which in today's world, is refreshing as the younger generation is always shown as advanced beyond their years and angry.

I'm positive that Apatow and his Rogan disciples have completely no clue about writing strong, realistic female characters. The KNOCKED UP controversy (SHE would never date HIM) can now take a back seat to the hacky placement of Apatow's wife, Leslie Mann, in a decidedly idiotic teacher role. Her entire relationship with Drillbit is based off of her seeing him steal items from the teachers lounge and then immediate chemistry and the unbelievable allowance that she would buy the obviously made up Dr. Ill Bit name. Slapstick aside, perhaps we'd suspend disbelief that this wacked out teacher would like him, let alone, stay with him through a prison sentence were we given ANY sort of introduction to her character beforehand. All the guys are given a proper set up - heck even Danny McBride (who's hillarious) has a bigger character arc than Leslie Mann's character (who's name I can't remember and am not sure they even gave).

A netflix rental for those morbid people who want to see the pre-incident Owen Wilson and try to dissect if this movie had anything to do with said incident. Also a rental for anyone looking for a few cheap laughs and I'm positive a ton of extras that showcase the obviously cut for time material throughout. They did an edit hack job on the third act that I'm not sure even Steve Brill could recognize the remains. As for the theater, go if you're 13, stay home if you're 30.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

Danny McBride is funny!