Movie: "Gentlemen Broncos"
Directed by: Jared Hess
Writing credits: Jared Hess, Jerusha Hess
Plot: A teen attends a writing camp only to discover that his teacher has stolen and sold his book idea.
Review: Let me preface this review by saying a few things. First off, I'm a big fan of Jermaine Clement. Season 1 of Flight of the Conchords was absolutely hilarious and I'm still looking forward to what comedy he's going to bring us in the future. I also have to say I loved Napoleon Dynamite, and I think a lot of people grew to hate it simply based on annoying fans constantly quoting the movie when it first came out. It really is a fantastically quirky film with amazing characters.
So, with these two things in mind, you can imagine that I was very much looking forward to seeing Gentlemen Broncos. I'm sad to report that the verdict is in and it's not a good one by any stretch of the imagination. Napoleon Dynamite had a genuine weirdness about it, it was stylized, sure, but it still felt natural. That's not the case with Gentlemen Broncos.
Everything about this film felt forced... as if they were trying to be weird as possible for the mere sake of being weird. I get that they were trying to poke fun at the subject of fantasy writers, but with the way they handle it, the movie ends up feeling like a parody of itself.
Jermaine Clement is a popular novelist whose best days are behind him, so he steals the work of one of his students to save his own career. An amusing enough plot, and Clement's character is definitely the best thing about the movie. His arrogant, bumbling speech about how to create interesting character names merely by tacking on "onious" or "ainous" to the end of them is probably the highlight of the entire film. Of course, most of that scene was already in the trailer, so not exactly a good thing for anybody who actually paid to see the flick.
The worst thing about the film is how they keep cutting to fantasy scenes from the story that the kid wrote. I'll always like Sam Rockwell, but most of the fantasy scenes are downright painful to sit through. I know on paper, the idea of a flying stags armed with missiles sounds amusing, but trust me when I say that the execution of it in Gentlemen Broncos just doesn't work at all. Would Napoleon Dynamite have benefited from having one of his bad drawings of a liger put into a real life dream sequence? No, they were better left on paper for the viewer to laugh at. And that's where Gentlemen Broncos truly fails, because not only do those sequences drain any remnants of humor from the initial concept, but they also seem to drag on for waaaaay longer than any reasonable director would allow them to.
I really wanted to like Gentlemen Broncos, but there's just no denying that they were forcing all of the idiosyncrasies in the film. There's nothing wrong with being weird, but there still needs to be some underlying substance to hold it all together... and to hold the interest of moviegoers. My advice is to skip this one, because if you don't, it's gonna be 90 minutes of your life that you'll surely wish you could get back. I sure do.
(Scored on a 0.5 - 5 pickles rating: 0.5 being the worst and 5 being the best)
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