Role Models – review
Role Models could never be described as Shakespeare. It could not be described as smart, inventive, enlightening, gut-wrenchingly funny or anything else even remotely like an emotive adjective. No power words for this movie!
Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott get upstaged by younger actors and they don’t seem very bothered by it. Indeed both Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Bobbe J. Thompson (very silly names) outshine their older counterparts in every way.
Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott star as two salesmen who trash a company truck on an energy drink-fueled bender. Upon their arrest, the court gives them a choice: do hard time or spend 150 hours with a mentorship program. After one day with the kids, however, jail doesn’t look half bad. Once the center’s ex-con director (Jane Lynch) gives them an ultimatum, Danny and Wheeler are forced to tailor their brand of immature wisdom to their charges, Augie (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) and Ronnie (Bobb’e J. Thompson). And if they can just make it through probation without getting thrown in jail, the world’s worst role models will prove that, sometimes, it takes a village idiot to raise a child
The few notes I initially made to this film are along the lines of “mediocre”, “bland”, “beige”, “pointless”, “contrived” and “dull”. Perhaps I had expected so much more after watching the red-band trailer. The jokes in the movie were okay in an every-third-one-made-you-laugh kind of way. However it does not take you into unchartered waters. Everything you see in this movie could be seen elsewhere (and better).
Seann William Scott plays a milder Stiffler (from American Pie); Paul Rudd plays a role so similar to his previous ones that you’d think he isn’t really acting. Elizabeth Banks is pointless and Jane Lynch is trying FAR too hard to be considered amusing. It is all wrapped up in a Monster’s Camp style game which is ultimately less entertaining than the documentary it mimics.
So far so very very uneventful. It seems as if every character is heavily dosed with Prozac and unable to portray any emotion beyond ambivalence. However, if you stay around for the final act, a sudden change occurs. Paul Rudd actually smiles; Scott stops looking at “boobies” and supports his friend in a Live-Action-Role-Playing game (that’s running around in the park hitting each other with sticks for the rest of us). In this act, you actually care for the characters. It is as if the supply of the aforementioned Prozac ran out and every single character on screen shows you (in the last ten minutes) how good this movie could have been (with some extra time spent on it).
Sadly though after watching it, the mediocrity of the first two acts overcome the excellent final one; leaving a bitter aftertaste in your mouth. You leave the cinema feeling cheated by a movie that was clearly filmed in a rushed (or at least it felt like that to watch).
Role Models couldn’t decide whether it was a brash, crude comedy or a poignant piece. Sadly it doesn’t quite fulfill either of these criteria.
Like Seann William-Scott’s previous movie (The Promotion) it is a bit undecided as to where it belongs. Should it be considered an American Pie clone with some very silly moments? No! Should it be considered a thoughtful film? Definitely NO! If you liked the trailer and look forward to this film then you will be entertained for a time. For me however, the final act showed me the movie that it should have been and it would’ve deserved a lengthier and praising review than this one.
Rating: 3 out of 5