'Drillbit Taylor (Unrated Ext. Survival Edition)'
(Owen Wilson, et al / DVD / PG-13 / 2008 / Paramount Pictures)
Overview: Ryan (Troy Gentile) Wade (Nate Hartley) and Emmit (David Dorfman) attend their first day at high school and they re pumped until they meet up with Filkins (Alex Frost) a school bully who comes off like a little Hannibal Lecter. Before they become completely engulfed in Filkins reign of terror they seek out some protection by placing an ad in Soldier of Fortune magazine. Their best response and the cheapest comes from Drillbit Taylor (Owen Wilson) a down-on-his luck soldier of fortune who lives a homeless he likes to say home-free existence on the beach.
DVD Verdict: After the success of "Superbad," I expected there to be copycats the following year. And "Drillbit Taylor" seemed to be just that, taken down a few degrees of raunchiness. You've got a loudmouth fat kid with a Jewfro, his geeky best friend, and their even geekier friend that the fat kid belittles every chance he gets. The trio of "Drillbit" are indeed a poor man's Seth, Evan, and McLovin, in that they look the same but aren't nearly as memorable. But I gotta say... I liked the movie.
For what it was - an obvious "Superbad" knock-off with more sentimentality and less sexual jokes - this was a pretty good movie. For the interesting story, some hilarious moments, and even some cheer-worthy parts, this is definitely something worth seeing with your friends. I wouldn't buy it on DVD unless I found it in a bargain bin, nor would I watch it again if I were alone, but "Drillbit" is worth seeing at least once. I'm not big on Owen Wilson either, but I thought he gave a great performance with this, hitting all the comedic and `serious' parts when they came up. And while we're on the acting topic, the trio of kids each gave a fair performance, though the only one that stood out was Nate Hartley as Wade. Though I have to say, the scene where `T-Dog' (played by Troy Gentile) freestyles is amazing.
There are many things about this movie that prevent it from being exceptional... or even GOOD for that matter. A huge part of that is that a lot of it is quite simply ridiculous. The whole "all you have to do to pass as a teacher is drink a cup of coffee in the teacher's lounge" was simply a bad scene, and was just used as a cheap plot device to show how Drillbit could get into the school... but really. Didn't buy it. Also, the fact that the trio of kids believed Drillbit's obvious lies for so long makes them just look really stupid. There were many other ridiculous things about the movie, but there is also enough good (some even great) parts to prevent it from being awful.
Overall, I'm still going to say it's pretty much a poor man's "Superbad," but considering how great "Superbad" was, that's more of a compliment than it is a criticism. "Drillbit" is worth watching at the very least. Just... I wouldn't buy it yet. For, in truth, it'll be in the bargain bin in no time. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Commentary by: Steven Bell, Kristofor Brown, Troy Gentle, Nate Hartley and David Dorfman
The Writers Get A Chance To Talk: Kristofor Brown and Seth Rogen
13 Deleted & Extended Scenes
6 Exclusive Survival Featurettes