3/29/08

Drillbit Taylor: Bums, Geeks, and Evil Bullies

I was reluctant to call this movie a geek movie at first, but after watching it I realize... these kids are just about as geeky as it comes. Drillbit Taylor is about Wade and Ryan who are starting their first day at high school. When they arrive they are promptly hazed and kicked around by the local bully, Filkins. Determined to start a new, popular life in high school, they decide to hire a body guard to keep Filkins in check.

Enter Owen Wilson, aka Bob Taylor, aka Drillbit Taylor, aka Alamo Taylor (I'm still likin' the sound of that...). Drillbit Taylor is a bum. Simple as that. He steals what he eats, begs for money on the street corner and showers naked at a public beach. When he decides he wants to move to Canada, he realizes he's going to need to hit something big. Maybe even possibly get a job. And he finds the perfect one: body guard for a couple of high school freshman geeks. They hire him because... well, he's the only one out of the many they interviewed that they can afford.

Disguised as a substitute teacher, Drillbit infiltrates the kid's school and falls in love with their English teacher who has a problem will falling for bums and thinks Drillbit, aka Dr. Illbit, is exactly the kind of guy she needs to fall away from that destructive habit.

This is your basic "be yourself" and "stand up for what's right" movie, but it's the kind of story that's never really been told. Drillbit is a villainous con artist at first, but finds more to live for than just money and the promise of the frozen north. Wade and Ryan are geeky wusses at first, but learn to stand up for themselves and tackle high school head-on. The story is solid and I'm quite fond of it.

The only problem I found was that, billed as comedy, it could have been a bit funnier. Don't get me wrong - it was hilarious. Especially if you catch subtle, sarcastic humor. The problem is that a lot of people don't. And those people are likely to walk out of the movie with a warm feeling for the story, but the smile on their faces won't be from laughing too much.

Drillbit's a winner for me. If subtle humor is your thing, you'll like it, too. In the end, it all comes down to how awesome your pseudonym is.