Reel Reviews

Drillbit Taylor - DVD Review



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</script></div>{/googleAds}Watching Drillbit Taylor is kind of like having a small Chihuahua as the family pet. You love the little bugger, but you really don't want others to know. Sure, it's another comedy produced by the brilliant mind of Superbad and Knocked Up creator, Judd Apatow, but can a de-raunchified PG-13 offering of a plot we've seen a thousand times really be that funny? Yes. This smart comedy hits its mark more often than it misses and the story even manages to work in a little heart every now and again. Thanks to the perfect chemistry generated between Owen Wilson and a trio of relative newcomers, Drillbit Taylor is always entertaining and is never as silly as expected.

When skinny, bespectacled Wade (Nate Harley), and overweight Ryan (Troy Gentile) stick up for a bullied kid (David Dorfman) at their school, they unwittingly find themselves in the crosshairs of a pair of rather nasty bullies (Alex Frost and Josh Peck). Finding no help from their school principal, the trio turns to the Internet to hire a bodyguard, where we're treated to a hilarious montage of bodyguard "interviews." But unfortunately, the only person they can afford is Drillbit (Owen Wilson), a down-and-out vagrant who purports to be an Army block-ops ranger with martial arts training. But as they get to know Drillbit, the kids eventually discover he's really nothing more than a loveable loser and creative liar who's setting them up to eventually take their money, rob their parents' belongings and eventually move his homelessness to Canada where he's heard the government will pay him to own land in the frozen north.

Drillbit TaylorDrillbit takes the kids through a ridiculously funny workout routine and teaches them several completely useless self-defense methods such as the "hold-back" technique, where the defender's buddy holds him back while he ravenously thrashes and yells, "let me at him!" Of course, none of the training works and Drillbit's advice is completely ineffective because he's not really a good fighter, nor does he handle confrontation particularly well. In fact, he was kicked out of the Army due to what he calls "unauthorized heroism." Drillbit talks a great game, but his ruse is beginning to unravel.

As he infiltrates their school and haphazardly "falls into" several rescue situations (not unlike Gilligan), Drillbit also finds himself inadvertently posing as a substitute teacher where he falls for a vulnerable teacher played by Leslie Mann. Here's where the tender side of Wilson's character really begins to blossom and any contempt you had for him is sure to melt away as he actually starts trying to do the right thing.

The kids eventually get wise to Drillbit's sham, and naturally, the story goes down an all-too-expected path when, rather than dumping their would-be protector, the kids actually end up helping him... and, in turn, Drillbit begins to care for them as well. OK, so we didn't say the plot is particularly innovative nor is it really all that creative, but what makes the whole thing tick is Wilson's performance. Despite his wretched behavior and gross ineptitude, his character is surprisingly loveable and always appealing. Is he a scumbag or really a good person? That we have trouble deciding is a testament to how well the character was handled. Failure here by Wilson would cause the whole film to collapse like a cheap lawn chair. And as it is, it's already teetering on a wobbly foundation that often feels like a watered-down, PG-13 version of Superbad, but director Steven Brill is smart enough to simply turn on the cameras and let the funnyman do his thing. And that strategy pays off with a comedy that largely works, even though it could have gone either way. Drillbit Taylor is often lazy, mostly predictable, and sometimes downright silly. But when it's all said and done, the film is another uproariously funny romp through the Apatow repertoire.


Component Grades
Movie
DVD
3 Stars
4 Star
DVD Experience
1 Star

DVD

DVD Details:

Screen formats: Widescreen Anamorphic 1.85:1

Subtitles: English; French; Portuguese; Spanish

Language and Sound: English: Dolby True HD; English: Dolby Digital 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1

Other Features: Color; interactive menus; scene access; gag reel; deleted scenes; audio commentary.

* Commentary - audio commentary with director Steven Brill and co-writer/producer Kristofer Brown with occassional appearance of actors Troy Gentile; Nate Hartley, and David Dorfman.
* Featurettes
o The Writers Get a Chance to Talk (14:00)
o Line-O-Rama (04:25)
o Gag Reel (04:10)
o Rap Off
o Sprinkler Day
o Bully
o Directing Kids
o The Real Don: Danny McBride (05:45)
* Deleted Scenes -
o 13 deleted and extended scenes (17:00)
* Trailers - for upcoming Star Trek prequel and full trailer for Iron Man, and Spiderwick Chronicles

Number of discs: - 2 - Keepcase Packaging

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