Much as I hate
to say it, Judd Apatow’s recent production-efforts seem to be
destroying the good reputation that he built-up in Hollywood
last summer with the double-whammy success-story of Knocked
Up (which he wrote and directed) and Superbad (which
he did not). First, the insipid John C. Reilly-vehicle Walk
Hard marked a nightmarish wrong-turn for Apatow’s oeuvre.
His latest attempt at comedic and box-office gold, Drillbit
Taylor, reaffirms the suggestion that Apatow should only
back films that he and Superbad director Greg Motolla
make themselves. Unlike Drillbit Taylor helmer Steven
Brill, perhaps they would’ve had the directorial foresight to
realize that the film’s script, written by Kristofor Brown and
Seth Rogen, is devoid of any funny punch-lines. In fact, I
didn’t laugh out loud a single time as I watched the
movie – not a good sign when it is purportedly supported by a
man who has the capacity to deal out chuckles by the bushel.
Sure, I cracked a few smiles at Drillbit Taylor, but they
were mostly due to the charm of the lead performances of Owen
Wilson, Nate Hartley, Troy Gentile, and Ian Roberts. Truth be
told, there actually isn’t anything inherently wrong with
the movie—it moves along pleasantly as it chronicles a bum’s
(Wilson) attempt to exploit three high-school-aged geeks when he
takes a job as their “body guard”—but it also lacks any signs of
inspiration. Unfortunately for the movie, there’s nothing worse
than a comedy that promises laughs but doesn’t deliver them.
(For the record, Apatow’s next entry to his resume as a
producer, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, doesn’t fare much
better than this one.) It’s kind of sad that my favorite parts
of Drillbit Taylor were those in which I found my mouth
watering over Leslie Mann’s sexy supporting character
(ridiculous as the role may be), but such is the truth. For now,
all I can do is hope that Mr. Apatow comes back to the good side
of the Force when he pairs up with proven-talent David Gordon
Green for The Pineapple Express later this year.
3.21.2008 at the Del Mar Highlands 8 in Del Mar, CA.
Drillbit Taylor is rated PG-13 and runs
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