Drillbit Taylor (12A)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner27/03/2008

Two out of Five stars
Running time: 102 mins

Drillbit Taylor has likeable characters and a decent premise, but it never really goes anywhere and, crucially, it fails to deliver the big laughs.

What's it all about?
Tall, skinny Wade (Nate Hartley) and chubby, curly-haired Ryan (Troy Gentile) find themselves victimised on their first day at high school by the vicious school bully, Filkins (Alex Frost) and his sidekick (Josh Peck). To make matters worse, the school nerd (David Dorfman as Emmit) sees them as fellow picked-upon losers and adopts them as his best friends.

When the daily bullying becomes too much to bear, the boys advertise for a bodyguard to protect them from Filkins, eventually settling on homeless ex-Marine Drillbit Taylor (Owen Wilson). But is he the right man for the job or is he just scamming them for whatever he can get?

The Good
The physical resemblance of the three kids to the three leads of Superbad makes this feel a little like a prequel, which is probably no coincidence, given the presence of one of Superbad's co-writers. As such, Hartley and Gentile make a likeable central duo, though Dorfman overdoes it and is frequently irritating as the hyperactive Emmit.

The Bad
Your enjoyment of Drillbit Taylor will largely depend on how funny you find Owen Wilson, who is essentially on auto-pilot here, though at least there's a little chemistry between him and Leslie Mann (as the boys' teacher). The biggest problem is that, although the film is moderately entertaining, it never manages to deliver any big laughs – if you've seen the trailer, you'll already have seen the only laugh-out-loud moment.

In addition, Drillbit isn't an especially sympathetic character (Wilson's charm only goes so far), the plot never really goes anywhere and the film also delivers a distinctly dodgy final message that sits badly with its anti-bullying stance.

Worth seeing?
In short, the likeable leads ensure that Drillbit Taylor is never less than watchable, but the writing feels lazy throughout and it's nowhere near as funny as it should have been.

Film Trailer

Drillbit Taylor (12A)
Drillbit Taylor has been reviewed by 1 users
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Content updated: 22/10/2017 16:25

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