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Sunday, September 7, 2008

Review: ROLE MODELS


Spoilers May Occur (but not major ones)

Role Models is the story of two energy representatives Danny (Rudd) and Wheeler (William Scott) who, after a over stimulating day, find themselves faced with the option of prison or joining a child mentorship program known as 'Sturdy Wings'. Paired with Augie (Chris Mintz Plasse {Superbad}), a shy nerd obsessed with a real life role playing game known as L.A.I.R.E, and Ronnie (Bobb'e J. Thompson {That's So Raven}), a young boy with an obsession for breasts and foul language. Danny and Augie get caught up in a crazy world of L.A.I.R.E, headed by the fictional/proud King Argotron (Ken Jeong {Knocked Up}), and Wheeler exposes Ronnie to a players life of sex, drinking, and women. But raising someone else's kid's is harder than it seems, and soon, to Danny and Wheeler, the idea of 30 days in jail does not seem that bad.



Written by Ken Marino, David Wain, and Timothy Dowling (as well as directed by Wain, the director of Wet Hot American Summer), this movie hits fully on its mark and delivers exactly what audiences are expecting in a comedy these days, plus more. The film has the feeling of a finely crafted 80's comedy, but with a modern day sense of humor, which leaves it with lots of heart and lots of laughs. With many actors that are traditionally cast by Judd Apatow, viewers will be surprised to see that he was totally uninvolved in the film, giving people the opportunity to watch a great bromantic comedy that has nothing to do with him, and while it uses a similar taste in humor, it is presented in a fresh, new, and creative way.

Almost always cast as the number 2 men, Paul Rudd & Sean William Scott create fantastic leading men while acting together. Rudd as Danny is a depressed angry guy, while William Scott plays his usual 'American Pie' Stifler-esque character. Each has much to offer and receives many laughs. They work very well together and the traditional ' each of the buddies are polar opposite archetypes works exceptionally well with the two.

Chris Mintz Plasse (McLovin in Superbad) shows us that he has not been only typecast as a McLovin, and can play other roles extremely well, too. The character of Augie is a shy, awkward, but fun boy, and Mintz Plasse's characterization of him leaves you feeling every tear and laugh he has, as if the character of Augie was in fact someone you did know.

I don't know if any of you watched 'Thats So Raven' on Disney Channel, but Bobb'e J. Thompson played 'Stanley' (My favorite guest character), who was a smooth talking, fast acting 8 or 9 year old boy. Very reminiscent of Eddie Griffin mixed with Taj Mowry from 'Smart Guy'. His character in 'Role Models', now a little more foul mouthed, seems to be a little reprise to that character he once played. Ronnie is a kid with a tough guy attitude, played very convincingly by Bobb'e J. Thompson. In fact, it is so convincing that you almost forget you are watching an 12 year old on screen.

Ken Jeong (Pineapple Express/ Knocked Up) gets the fun role of being a villain. He plays the evil, cheating, king of the fictional role-playing world of L.A.I.R.E. the character itself is brilliant, and on and off the battlefield, Jeong delivers many priceless lines that will have you laughing out loud almost every time.

Jane Lynch (40 Year Old Virgin) plays the boss of Sturdy Wings. She has great chemistry with the rest of the cast, though a few of her jokes seem to drag on and repeat themselves. Essentially she is the same character as she was in 40 Year Old Virgin. Just a little more ridiculous. A delightful, yet small role belongs to Joe Lo Truglio (Superbad, Pineapple Express), as a knight in the world of L.A.I.R.E. He has very funny lines, which seem mostly ad-libbed, and Lo Truglio has a way of making the seemingly smallest characters some of the most memorable.

Its sad to say, but in this film, you can't really consider Elizabeth Banks' character all that important. She fulfills her role as woman who sets the story in motion, but thats really about it. She does a great job, but was not fully utilized in this film. But after all it is her summer, having already appeared in 2 films, and still has the new Kevin Smith's 'Zach and Miri make a Porno' which looks fantastic.

Role Models Hits Theaters November 7, 2008

5 stars

1 comment:

Wilder said...

I'm not even a big SWS fan, but I have to admit, he is hilarious in this movie. He really did a great job. Seriously guys, go check this movie out.

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