Thursday, September 25, 2008

Drillbit Taylor (2008)

Drillbit Taylor (Owen Wilson): I'm Drillbit Taylor... US Army ranger, black-ops operative, decorated marksman, improvised weapons expert.
Wade (Nate Hartley): Are you still in the military?
Drillbit Taylor: I was discharged - unauthorized heroism.

At a glance: Owen Wilson’s considerable on-screen charm is wasted – or overextended – in this poorly written, sometimes creepy story about a never-do-well who is hired to be a bodyguard for 3 nerdy high-schoolers.

Wade (Nate Hartley) and Ryan (Troy Gentile) are the quintessential nerds. When they start high school, the school bully Filkins (Alex Frost) makes their lives a living hell. Frustrated, the boys pool their meager funds to hire a bodyguard. And they get what they pay for: a homeless man named Drillbit (Owen Wilson) who claims to be an Army ranger, but in reality dropped out of the army as soon as he sensed confrontation and violence. Through a series of errors Drillbit ends of being a substitute teacher at the school, and he looks after the boys while romancing fellow teacher Barbara (Beth Littleford). Everything goes awry when the bully discovers that Drillbit is actually homeless. Everything also goes awry with the movie – and the writing – at this point. Suddenly, Drillbit is lieing to everyone, even the boys, as he tries to explain who he is. He tells so many stories, none of them funny, that we end up being confused about his past, rather than being sympathetic. Eventually, there is a slim, unbelievable redemption story hidden within a kind of sick revenge story, where a grown man is beating up schoolkids under the pretense of doing good. The movie ends after he credits with a strangely creepy scene where Drillbit, now working as the school nurse, whispered to a kid with a bloody nose to ‘just tell me who did this, and they’ll never do it again.’ Rating: 2 of 4

"...silly, sentimental, sometimes cruel, often clumsy, mostly unfunny, and frustratingly inane."
- John J. Puccio (

"Wilson proves again that he's a quick-witted comedic treasure—he's the sort of actor who gets hired to make mediocre movies almost good by his sheer force of comic will."
Peter Canavese (Groucho Reviews)

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