(Rated PG-13)


Rated: Not even on the charts

{mosimage}Sometimes the tag line on a movie is cute. Sometimes it’s catchy. And sometimes, it’s prophetic. Such is the case of Drillbit Taylor, the latest release of Owen Wilson. To put it in layman’s terms, this movie was more than disapponting, in fact, I would call it simply bad. Forget about what the tabloids said about Wilson’s recent depression. It had nothing to do with his love life. Truth to be told, it was probably this movie.

Wilson has great comedic timing. You expect him to play off-beat characters. You expect the delivery of his lines to be sarcastic. And he delivered on those expectations. It was the script that left him in the lurch. 

The brain child of John Hughes, the man who gave us all of those great ‘80s movies č The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, the National Lampoon Vacation movies č Drillbit Taylor is a story Hollywood likes to retell in various formats. 

It’s the story of two boys getting ready to start high school č no shocker here, they are stereotypically geeky. And as is true of most geeks, they have good hearts. On the first day of school, rather than celebrating in the fact that another kid even geeker than them has drawn the attention of school bully Filkins (played by Alex Frost),  Wade, played by Nat Hartley, steps in to stop the bully from putting the kid in a locker. As expected, his intervention draws the ire of Filkins, and he, and his best friend, Ryan (Troy Gentile) become the target of the bully’s ire. The three, the geeky kid, the fat kid and the “awesome” kid have big targets on their foreheads.

Things go from bad to worse when they take the matter of bullying up with the school principal who embodies every stereotype of the dumb principal. After being chased down by Filkins in his car, they decide to seek the services of a bodyguard č  enter Drillbit Taylor.

Taylor represents himself as an Army Ranger, a master of dark ops and martial arts. He is, in fact, none of those things. But, he manages to keep the kids convinced that he’s on their side, all the while plotting to rob them of their excess. After Wade gets punched, Drillbit decides he needs to be in school with the kids, and poses as a substitute teacher. As he tells his friends, “All you have to do is walk around with a cup of coffee in your hand and nobody asks you any questions.” 

As can be expected while posing as the sub, Drillbit becomes a favorite of the faculty and students č with the exception of the bully, whom he constantly gives a hard time. He also manages to win the adoration of an over-sexed English teacher who has a way of picking out real losers. 

As the plot turns, the kids learn Drillbit is not who he says he is and their disappointment in him is crushing. “I thought you were my friend,” said Wade. 

Not to spoil the movie for you, if you really want to waste $7, this is an undedog movie, so things always come right in the end. Maybe just not the way you thought.

There are some good performances of bad characters by Wilson and Gentile. Gentile’s rap off against the bully brings some laughs, as does a few of  Wilson’s scenes with Hartley and with his street buddies. But by in large, the writing was weak, the plot was predictable and the characters never really grab you.

Drillbit Taylor should stay at the bottom of your to see list. But if you’ll take some friendly advice, never even put it on the list.

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