The Judd Apatow juggernaut keeps on going with another new release, Drillbit Taylor. The Apatow-produced film, directed by Steven Brill, is written by Apatow regular Seth Rogen, who also co-wrote the enormously successful and quite entertaining Superbad, but this film features absolutely none of what made that film funny. This, remarkably, is a comedy, despite being absolutely devoid of any funny moments. And there were times during it, that I wanted to tear my eyes out in sheer boredom.
Owen Wilson stars as the titular character, an army deserter and homeless man with dreams of buying a ticket to go to Canada. He answers an ad placed by three kids for a bodyguard to protect them from the school bully. Taylor is the cheapest of the bodyguards who apply for the job, so he’s hired to teach the kids how to defend themselves, and be a presence in the school when the bully strikes. But Taylor’s methods prove to be rather pointless and he’s not much of a bodyguard. And when the bully discovers who Taylor really is, things get worse.
God, where to start. I mentioned that Seth Rogen wrote the film. That’s a misnomer. He wrote the story. The screenplay is written by John Hughes under the pseudonym Edmond Dantes. Yes, THAT John Hughes. The man responsible for almost every classic 80’s teen movie. That he’s sunk this low is just depressing. This film is one of the most incredibly dull cinematic experiences I’ve ever sat through. I really can’t believe I spent the cash I did on the ticket. In fact, it’s depressing me thinking about it.
I like Owen Wilson. Despite that he’s not the greatest actor on the planet, he’s quite watchable. And his work with Wes Anderson is truly excellent. Especially considering he co-wrote Bottle Rocket, Rushmore and The Royal Tenenbaums. He’s watchable in this, but the poor script gives him nothing to work with. He’s surrounded by three kids who aren’t remotely funny, which I’m sure isn’t their fault. There’s the usual Apatow geek-archetypes. The skinny kid who likes a girl. The fat outspoken kid. And the weirdo. We’ve seen these types before. But there’s none of the charm in them that is in the other films of the same ilk.
There’s very little else that can be said about the film. For a comedy, there are no laughs. That is no exaggeration. Not once did I laugh during the film. I’ve never experienced that before in a comedy. I know better now. I won’t go to a film I feel so uncomfortable handing nine of my hard-earned, and rapidly dwindling euros over to see. And it’s the last time I let my mate insist on seeing a film.