x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Drillbit Taylor

DVD review A frustrating watch and the script isn't nearly witty enough to make up for the bullying scenes, writes Georgia Lewis.

With Seth Rogen on the writing team, Judd Apatow producing and Owen Wilson in the title role, this movie had the potential to be a better-than-average comedy. Nobody would expect highbrow satire from this trio but it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect a film with a brain and a heart. Unfortunately, there are only scant glimpses of either in the story of Drillbit Taylor, a down-on-his-luck ex-soldier who is hired as a bodyguard by three bullied nerdy schoolboys. The bullies are instantly unlikeable, which is fair enough, but the scenes where the nerds are mercilessly harassed veer unnecessarily into acts of criminal physical violence. Meanwhile, the school's method of dealing with the bullies is utterly implausible even in this era of political correctness and sympathy for perpetrators as well as victims of abuse. As a result, it's a frustrating film to watch and the script isn't nearly witty enough to make up for the hard-to-watch bullying scenes. As for Owen Wilson, he just seems bored. He goes through the motions, but his burgeoning romance with the high school English teacher is unconvincing and his crisis of conscience over the string of lies he has told the kids is about as moving as a Garfield cartoon.