Owen Wilson tried to kill himself after this movie, and now I know exactly how he feels.
Owen is a lost homeless soul with an uncharacteristic sense of personal hygiene – because the only thing more sympathetic than a clean homeless dude is a clean homeless dude with puppies.
“If something stinks in this movie,” says Owen, “it’s likely to be everything except me.”
He poses as a bodyguard for some high school kids who need protection from the school bully. Yes, this movie deals with that momentous topic of schoolyard bullying, a topic I considered sewn up after The Karate Kid I, II, III, and IV.
But let’s face it, Hollywood is ground zero for the kind of screenwriters who spent their formative years nose to the concrete. “I visualized more than my share of hero archetypes as I was wiping blood from my face,” acknowledged actor/writer Seth Rogen, who has followed up Superbad with a movie that really is.
A “high concept” is the idea behind the movie, Seth, not the state you’re in when you’re being conceptual. If you’re going to pass the bowl while planning all-new ways to spend Paramount’s money, share some bud with the audience! Because when we ask “was the writer of this movie high?” we mean it as an expression.
It’s the first day of high school and two geeky kids accidentally wear the same horrendous shirt to school, thus marking them for a reign of terror second in ferocity only to the Spanish Inquisition.
Or something like that.
“A lily-white Southern California suburban high school can be a very dangerous place,” warned Rogen, whose idea of danger is taking a week off from having his car detailed.
This movie reaches its crescendo during a rap battle on the school steps. Yo, yo, yo, it’s like 8 Mile – if all eight miles were traversed in a limo with a driver.
Word has it that these kids were x-rayed before entering the school and a wide variety of hidden Dolce & Gabbana Handbags and Rebecca Taylor Leopard Print Jacquard Coats were found. “This was bound to spark violence,” said a security guard, as he confiscated a pair of Versace shades.
And what qualifies Owen Wilson to be a bodyguard? Primarily his camo-pants and a nose broken by too many screenings of You, Me, and Dupree.
To fit in at school, Owen masquerades as a teacher and, thanks to some fast thinking, poses as “Dr. illbit.” Strangely, the rest of the teachers, including Dr. Acula and Dr. Akkar Noir, notice nothing unusual.
And definitely nothing funny.
Hey, Drillbit Taylor is also an action film! Unfortunately, our heroes run from bullies in a high speed chase where a mailbox and the dignity of the audience are the only victims.
This concept is so thin I can look right through it to see Owen’s soul being swapped to Satan in exchange for more co-starring roles with Ben Stiller.
Next time Owen gets his own star vehicle, let’s hope it’s filled with gas.