The New Guy

"Weak"

The New Guy Review


For its first 20 minutes or so, the big-geek-on-campus comedy "The New Guy" gets by on a semi-fresh twist of tiresome teen clique themes and a well-cast lead. DJ Qualls -- the 98-lb. walking weakling punchline from 2000's "Road Trip" -- plays a bottom-of-the-food-chain bully magnet who changes high schools and reinvents himself as a wiry, uber-cool bad ass.

But as soon as the kid gets comfortable with his new studly status (insert stock scenes of trampy cheerleaders here) and we've seen Qualls' entire comical cool-jerk repertoire, the movie plum runs out of ideas and putters along on fumes until the closing credits.

Lazy and simplistic, when "The New Guy" isn't beating long-dead genre horses (Qualls feels guilty, for about two minutes, about dissing his "real" friends for the in crowd), it's a blender-edited mish-mosh of abridged plot points. Our hero apparently teaches everyone in his new school to get along, but we don't see how he does it. Before long campus hotties are hanging off the arms of dorks, overweight guys and other former outcasts. No explanation there either. Qualls' dad (Lyle Lovett) and former school counselor (Illeana Douglas) think his new style and attitude are signs of a drug problem, but that story angle is abandoned after about 30 seconds.

When director Ed Decter has run the gamut of trite teen comedy clichés and still hasn't made it to feature length, he litters the picture with cameos (Henry Rollins, Tommy Lee, Gene Simmons, Vanilla Ice, Tony Hawk, David Hasselhoff), movie spoofs ("Patton," "Braveheart"), musical montages and a shopping trip scene that's just an excuse to get co-star Eliza Dushku ("Bring It On") half-naked, modeling bikinis for a bullet-sweating Qualls.

All premise and no follow-through, the movie's only asset is its star, who has talent, comedic timing and inborn geek appeal that keeps peeking out underneath his facade of new cool.

The funniest scenes in the movie (and that's not saying much) take place in the first reel when he's tossed in jail overnight under patently contrived circumstances. He meets inmate Eddie Griffin ("Double Take") who becomes his bad-dude attitude mentor. "High school is a lot like prison," Griffin says before teaching Qualls how to act crazy so bullies will leave him alone and other tricks of survival. "The sex you want, you ain't gettin'. The sex you gettin', you don't want."

Why Qualls' minor arrest lands him in prison with guys doing hard time instead of into a holding cell makes about as much sense as casting actors obviously in their mid-late 20s to play high schoolers. But to tear apart this scene would leave me with almost nothing nice to say about "The New Guy" -- and it's not insufferable. It's just uninspired and so inept there's no wondering why it sat on a shelf for almost two years before its release.



The New Guy

Facts and Figures

Run time: 88 mins

In Theaters: Friday 10th May 2002

Box Office USA: $29.0M

Budget: 13

Distributed by: Columbia Pictures

Production compaines: Columbia Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 7%
Fresh: 7 Rotten: 90

IMDB: 5.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Dizzy Harrison/Gil Harris, Matthew Lee Pelosi as Dizzy Harrison (at a younger age), as Bear Harrison, as Danielle, as Nora, as Glen, as Courtney, as Kirk, as Himself, as Luther, as Himself, as Warden, as Highland High Party Twin #1, as Charlie, as Principal Zaylor, as Dance Instructor, as Tommy Lee, Josh Todd as Rudy, as Conner, as Mr. Luberoff

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Hidden Figures Movie Review

Hidden Figures Movie Review

This film recounts such a great true story that we don't mind the fact that...

The Founder Movie Review

The Founder Movie Review

This is the story of Ray Kroc, the man who created the concept of McDonald's....

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

John Wick: Chapter 2 Movie Review

Keanu Reeves picks up his supremely efficient hitman immediately where the 2015 original left him:...

Fences Movie Review

Fences Movie Review

After winning Tony Awards on Broadway, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reteam for a film...

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

The Lego Batman Movie Movie Review

A spin-off from 2014's awesome The Lego Movie, this raucously paced action-comedy is proof that...

The Space Between Us Movie Review

The Space Between Us Movie Review

While the premise of this movie makes it look like a sci-fi adventure, the truth...

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

Toni Erdmann Movie Review

On paper, the idea of a two-hour 40-minute German comedy may not seem very promising,...

Advertisement
Gold Movie Review

Gold Movie Review

Based on a true story, this lively and sometimes outrageous adventure is packed with twists...

Loving Movie Review

Loving Movie Review

While this film tackles a huge issue in the history of race relations in America,...

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

T2 Trainspotting Movie Review

It's been 20 years since we last saw four freewheeling young junkies from Edinburgh spiral...

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Hacksaw Ridge Movie Review

Based on an astounding true story, this battlefield drama mixes warm emotion with intense action...

Sing Movie Review

Sing Movie Review

The quality of the animation in this musical comedy may not be up to Pixar...

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

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.