Friday, April 03, 2009
Two salesmen trash a company truck on an energy drink-fueled bender. Upon their arrest, the court gives them a choice: do hard time or spend 150 service hours with a mentorship program. After one day with the kids, however, jail doesn’t look half bad. Surrounded by annoying do-gooders, Danny struggles with his every neurotic impulse to guide Augie through the trials of becoming a man. Unfortunately, the guy just dumped by his girlfriend has only sarcasm to offer a bashful 16-year-old obsessed with medieval role play. Meanwhile, charming Wheeler tries to trade in an addiction to partying and women to assist a fifth-grader named Ronnie redirect his foul-mouthed ways. It would probably help if Ronnie’s new mentor wasn’t an overgrown adolescent whose idea of quality time includes keggers in Venice Beach. Once the center’s ex-con director gives them an ultimatum, Danny and Wheeler are forced to tailor their brand of immature wisdom to their charges.
Cast: Seann William Scott, Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Bobb'e J. Thompson
Director: David Wain
Opened November 7, 2008
Runtime: 1 hr. 35 min.
Rated R for crude and sexual content, strong language and nudity
Genres: Farce, Buddy Film, Comedy
Role Models is the type of film that feels like it should be funnier than it actually is. That’s not to say that the film doesn’t have its high points there are plenty of them but it lacks consistency throughout. Choppily directed by David Wain, also one of the writers, the film is full of peaks and valleys. When it’s funny it’s really funny, mainly due to the fine comedic cast assembled, but when it lulls it just sort of meanders aimlessly. Needless to say the film lacks a sense of rhythm which would have raised it to inspired levels. As mentioned, the cast is superb. Paul Rudd shares the marquee with Seann William Scott but he’s clearly a more accomplished comedian. Rudd’s wonderfully cynical performance is loads of fun to watch and it kind of makes you wonder why he didn’t write more scenes for himself, he was also one of the co-writers on the film. Seann William Scott delivers a solid performance, giving his character a charm and sweetness that could have been easily overlooked by a lesser actor. The supporting cast is filled with some real standout performances that nearly steal the show. First off, the always reliable Jane Lynch is stellar making the most of a fairly small role. Christopher Mintz-Plasse is just as good, he really makes the character seem like a real kid as opposed to just a stereotype. He gives Augie a nice touch of authenticity that could have been easily glossed over. Bobb'e J. Thompson is fun to a varying degrees. He lets loose vulgarities like a pro but some of the lines just fall flat while other hit the mark with greater effectiveness. Elizabeth Banks, sadly, isn’t given much to do here. But throw in Ken Jeong as the role playing king and finale that involves fake medieval battles and KISS makeup, well let’s just say the film peaks near the end.