in Review

Brotherly Love

Role Models

Wow two back-to-back reviews featuring films with Elizabeth Banks, she’s literally everywhere, but what really drew my attention to Role Models was none other than Paul Rudd, who’s finally made the transition from comedic chum to leading man. Making a name for himself these days in Apatow produced projects, co-writer/star Paul Rudd actually manages to snatch up a couple of other Apatow players including; Jane Lynch (40 Year Old Virgin, Talladega Nights), Joe Lo Truglio (Superbad, Pineapple Express), Ken Jeong (Knocked Up, Pineapple Express) and McLovin himself Christopher Mintz-Plasse for plenty of foul mouthed tomfoolery and awkward male bonding.

Rudd plays pessimistic energy drink spokesperson Danny Donahue who along with his rowdy co-worker Wheeler (Seann William Scott), travel from school to school telling kids to get off drugs and drink “Minotaur.” Soon enough Danny realizes he’s going through a mid-life crisis and after a few bad decisions, including crashing a truck into a statue, ends up along with Wheeler, with the choice of either being part of a big brother program “Sturdy Wings” or getting raped in prison. Going with the former, Wheeler ends up with a foul mouthed troublemaker Ronnie (Bobb’e Shields) while Danny becomes the mentor to an awkward role playing obsessed teen named Auggie Farks (Played to a tee by Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and the laughs start a rolling in…. At least they do eventually.

Role Models actually starts out fairly dry. Mostly filled with dirty jokes and predictable setup, I thought I was in for your average mediocre comedy, but by golly after a good 20 or so minutes this really took off. I mean by the last 40 minutes I was as we like to say at Cat Fancy “All About it” with the performances really setting in, the jokes picking up and even some tender little heartfelt moments for everyone to enjoy.

There’s some really wacky stuff here, with some of my favorite quirks being the frequent references to Kiss such as a scene where Seann William Scott plays the song “Love Gun” to his little buddy, “You see Ronnie, the gun is his dick.” and that’s just a little taste. Meanwhile Rudd and McLovin (as I like to call him) go through some equally hilarious misadventures while playing the live action role playing game “L.A.I.R.E.” (Which stands for Live Action Interactive Role-playing Experience) that everyone seems to take a little too seriously. There was also a reoccurring joke regarding this really lame song that Paul Rudd kept trying to convince people was not by Wings. “No that song is not by Wings, that song is by nobody.” I mean that kind of off-the-wall dialogue really tickles my fancy.

The film’s formula follows some pretty familiar waters, but as these characters start to open up and the story develops, I was highly entertained. The climax, which is a final battle in “L.A.I.R.E.” was non-stop hilarity and I definitely left this film with a smile on my face. I just wish the first half hour or so wasn’t so weak because the rest of the film makes for some solid comedy. Rudd and Scott make for entertaining and relatable leads and all their co-stars manage to bring plenty of silly scenes to the table. Role Models’ unfortunate unevenness probably doesn’t raise it too high above most comedies, but there’s definitely some comic gold buried deep within and if it still doesn’t grab you, than at least you can get lost in Paul Rudd’s eyes.


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