The Bronze

Here is a movie that tries too hard to be quirky and hip and only succeeds in being mildly annoying most of the time. The idea of lampooning Olympic athletes is not really new, neither is the vulgar language in the mouth of an otherwise seemingly innocent young woman. So the film turns up the shock value of the language and tries like hell to overwhelm you with how awful a person the lead character has become. The fact that some of the things being said could have been quotes from Billy Bob Thornton in “Bad Santa” doesn’t qualify it as comic genius.

The movie plays for the first half like a bad sketch on Saturday Night Live. You know, the one that had a funny premise for about a minute but actually ran seven to ten minutes. That’s this movie for the first hour. There finally appears to be a more traditional plot line in the last half that concerns love and redemption but it does not feel earned since we got so abused in the first part of the movie. Mean spirited insults and dry delivery might work in small doses if timed correctly, here they just swallow the movie up and puke it all over us.

Melissa Rauch from “The Big Bang Theory” plays the part as it was written and directed, so the outcome is not entirely her fault, except that she wrote the picture with her husband. There is a gem of an idea here but it takes more skilled hands to make it work than were brought to bear. There is not a project that I can think of that Gary Cole has not made better by his presence and this film is now included in that assessment. As the father of the lead character, he is both funny, ineffectual and too sadly real.

There are several laughs in the film but they are not as frequent as they should be and most of them depend on the vile things that are being done and said. If you are looking for a way to spend a really uncomfortable couple of hours, take your parents with you to see this. If you can get through the opening scene without them walking out, maybe the movie is for you. I sound like I hated it but that is far from the truth, I was just disappointed that it could not live up to it’s potential. There is however one scene that stands out and might make a trek to a theater to see this worthwhile. Two gymnasts get it on in a over the top sex scene and it involves all of the moves, bending, head and ass placement you may have been fantasizing about since you first had a crush on that guy or gal on your high school gymnastics team.  It is really dirty and really funny. Supposedly, Sebastian Stan did his own stunts for the movie, if that includes this scene, he will be a big heartthrob for the rest of his career.

This is a little movie with big aspirations of being a surprise comedy, but the surprise is how boring so much of the film is. I’m not a big rap fan myself, but I think the end credit rap performance by the star, had everything the movie offered, but in five minutes or less.