With the recent premier of the Napoleon Dynamite animated series, I recently got the wild hair up my ass to rewatchh the beloved movie it was based on. Note that I’m already resorting to vulgarity, this is a bad sign. Somehow, perhaps because of massive amounts of brain damage, I chose instead to rewatch Gentlemen Broncos. It took every ounce of restraint I have not to type Gentlemen fucking Broncos. That restraint is now gone. Note that I said rewatch. Someone once said that the definition of stupidity (or insanity, depending on who’s quoting) is doing the same thing over again and expecting different results. So this is what I’m doing now; expecting different results. Fuck me.
Gentleman Broncos was written and directed by Jared Hess, the same man who wrote and directed Napoleon Dynamite. This is wildly obvious as the whole movie has that same stink that made Napoleon Dynamite the instant classic that it is. This, however, feels like they went bacck to the same well, only to find that someone had shit in it. The film opens promisingly enough, with the cast and crew’s names integrated onto what looks like old 70-80’s era sci-fi novel covers. I have a soft spot in my heart for that kind of old-timey sci-fi art, so I was optimistic. Then the movie started, and I started to get pissed.
The films tels the story of young Benjamin Purvis, an aspiring writer who goes to a weekend writing camp annd meets his favorite writer, who ggoes on to steal his masterpiece story and pass it off as his own. He also meets Tabatha; the insufferable love interest of this story, and Lonnie, who basically is Pedro from Napoleon Dynamite if Pedro was gay and didn’t knowe it…and also a hideously pretentious piece of shit.
And that’s the thing; where Napoleon Dynamite was quirky while stopping just short of being pretentious, and populated with characters that were slightly off-kilter in ways that made them seem charming, Gentemen Broncos is filled with characters that all seem to have something terribly wrong with them, annd are alll so full of shit that they are all so unlikable that even the protagonists that we’re supposed to be pulling for seem just eerie enough that we’d cross the street to avoid making eye contact with them.
Let’s take a look, shall we?
Wait, what was that?!? Whoever edited that trailer should have not only won an award, but edited the actual movie. That looked halfway watchable.
Seriously, this movie feels like a desperate attempt to prove that Napoleon Dynamite wasn’t a fluke, and does a lot to hurt that theory. There are things wrong in this movie that go so far beyond “delightfully quirky” that they demand explanation, yet are passed off as normal. I was ok with Napoleon wearing snow boots in the summer, that was within reason, but why does Benjamin live in a fucking ball-shaped house? Why is there a machinegun store in the mall, seen only in the background, but not actually mentioned? That’s not normal. These people all seem to be suffering from some sort of mental disease, and possibly should be euthanized. With a hammer.
There is the occasional chuckkle to be had in this movie, but…well…sometimes crap has peanuts in it too…if you catch my meaning.