— by TOM ELCE —
Does Jared Hess, the director of “Napoleon Dynamite,” “Nacho Libre” and “Gentlemen Broncos” have anything in his comic arsenal other than self-aware quirk and awkwardness? With the two clips I’ve just seen, all signs point to no.
“Gentlemen Broncos” looks about as convinced with itself as Hess’s previous films, but damned if I saw anything worth laughing with these glimpses into the man’s forthcoming movie. Rather, these clips continue to push Hess as a one-trick pony, seemingly capable of crafting worlds populated entirely by hip misfits (yeah..) but without wit.
The movie centers around a teenager (played by Michael Angarano) who makes a grim discovery upon visiting fantasy writers’ convention: his idea has been stolen, re-worked with added transgendered goodness by novelist Chevalier (Jermaine Clement). That reminds me of the silly family film “Big Fat Liar,” which I’d rather watch over this to be honest.
I guess if you’re into Hess’s prior work, and those of this film’s stars (Michael Angarano having been in David Gordon Green’s “Snow Angels” and Jermaine Clement in the acclaimed “The Flight of the Conchords”), there’s something for you in “Gentlemen Broncos.”
Personally, I can’t see the appeal of a film that simultaneously seems to be trying too hard and not hard enough, and non-fans aren’t likely to find much to change their minds in this twosome of clips — one of which revolves around a discussion of words with the same spaces of assumed laughter as with the recent “Bunny and the Bull” clip I covered, the other a confrontation between Angarano and Clement that’s DOA.
For better or worse, “Gentlemen Broncos” opens in theaters Oct. 30.
Click here to view a couple of featurettes from the movie.
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