Mr. Woodcock

"Bad"

Mr. Woodcock Review


For half of the last decade, Billy Bob Thornton has been filling the scumbag/jerk quotient to dwindling effect, culminating in last year's abysmal School for Scoundrels. One half-expected him to try and nab a role in a Catherine Breillat film just to get the taste out of his mouth. It seems this was all wishful thinking: Thornton's latest retread into berating fat kids, retards, and asthma victims, Mr. Woodcock, is at once both completely aimless and without the slightest sense of fun.

Pushed back and up for almost a year now, Woodcock comes from a lineage of productions so misguided that studios eventually release them just to wash their hands of them. Originally slated for a late spring/early summer release, the film was tossed back to November to allow for re-shoots and new edits. Ultimately none of it mattered and they pushed it back up to September. The fact that Wedding Crashers ace David Dobkin was brought in for the aforementioned re-shoots makes the absence of even the lightest chuckle even more profound.

Thornton plays the titular gym coach who gets his jollies from pegging kids with a carefully selected basketball before bemoaning their physical abilities. One such child, the plumpest of the lot, is little John Farley, who is relegated to stand Woodcock's indignations while in his tighty-whities. Farley (now Seann William Scott) grows up to be a self-help guru with an agent (Amy Poehler) who acts like Cerberus guarding the gates of hell around her client. When news comes that his hometown is bestowing the Corn Cob Key to the City on him, Farley gears up to fly home and see his mom (Susan Sarandon). Not a minute passes between his reunion with his mother and his mother introducing him to her fiancée: Mr. Woodcock.

What follows is an oedipal tug of war between John and Woodcock, the majority of which finds Woodcock schooling the self-help pansy. Farley collects an old friend (Ethan Suplee) to help him find ways to oust his stepfather-to-be as a demon in a track suit. But every gag rails on like an infuriating metronome trying every way imagineable to pry a laugh out of your chest. If it's not Woodcock's "rhetorical question" shtick, it's the preposterously unfunny "Woodcock's nailing your mom?" line, used ad nauseum.

Thornton's scumbag-with-a-point characters have been commendable because they work well within the confines given. As this cantankerous coach, Thornton seems to have drifted into a trance, unable to find the glee in being a bastard. As for Sarandon and Scott, it's evident they're just in it for the check. The bigger problem: Director Craig Gillespie, who shows immense promise in the upcoming Lars and the Real Girl, goes 180 here and demonstrates an utter incapability with comedic structure and timing. Stuck inside a script by first-timers Josh Gilbert and Michael Carnes, Thornton feels like he's been put on a leash and his boredom is palpable. Even the audience can feel it.

Mommy always called him princess.



Mr. Woodcock

Facts and Figures

Run time: 87 mins

In Theaters: Friday 14th September 2007

Box Office USA: $25.8M

Budget: $22M

Distributed by: New Line Cinema

Production compaines: Landscape Entertainment, Avery Pix

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 13%
Fresh: 14 Rotten: 96

IMDB: 5.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Craig Gillespie

Producer:

Starring: as Jasper Woodcock, as John Farley, as Beverly Farley, as Maggie, as Nedderman, as Tracy, Allisyn Ashley Arm as Scout Girl

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Get Back Movie Review

Get Back Movie Review

Roger Appleton's documentary 'Get Back' looks into the music scene that come out of Liverpool....

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Advertisement
Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

The 9th Life of Louis Drax Movie Review

With heavy overtones of Hitchcockian mystery and intrigue, this stylish thriller is the enjoyably melodramatic...

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

Kickboxer: Vengeance Movie Review

The 1989 Muay Thai action movie Kickboxer starred a young Jean-Claude Van Damme, who pops...

Julieta Movie Review

Julieta Movie Review

Iconic Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar is back with another powerfully complex female-centred drama, along the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.