_ Mr. Woodcock _ Title: Mr. Woodcock
Mr. Woodcock is a laugh out loud film. Need I say more? Isn’t that what a comedy is supposed to be? Shouldn’t we just stop here and be done with it? Not really. Yes a comedy should make you laugh and often. But just because you laugh it doesn’t make it a must see film. That is the issue with reviewing films such as this. Though there are moments of hilarity the sum of its parts just doesn’t make for a great movie. But with a name like Woodcock did we honestly expect greatness? Or just a laugh?
The film is relatable to anyone who hated gym class and needed therapy or at least a nice shot of band camp to turn out normal. That is the situation with John Farley (Seann William Scott). After suffering through P.E class under the tirades of Mr. Woodcock (Billy Bob Thornton) he becomes a successful writer of a self help book entitled Letting Go. When he returns to his home town to accept an award he finds that his mother (Susan Sarandon) is dating none other than. Yup. Old Woody. This would be a nightmare for any student. In fact I think we may have all woke up in a cold sweat with just that very thought.
Billy Bob Thornton is fantastic in this film. As always he takes even the most trivial, sophomoric character and breathes life into it. This film is predictable, crude and as unoriginal as they come. Yet Thornton treats it as gold and his character shines. That is about all that works in this film. The writing is almost carbon copy of Meet the Parents in the fact that Farley does everything to get into the head of Woodcock. You grimace at the predicaments he gets himself into, knowing it will all backfire in the end. Plus Scott is just not believable in these roles. Stiller and Owen can pull it off much better. Susan Sarandon adds little to this film and except for the always funny Amy Pohler there would be no support in this film.
Woodcock is Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, thematic material, language and a mild drug reference. Parents should forget taking anyone under 14 to see this film. The crude sexual humor though slightly funny the first time gets tiresome after 5 minutes let alone 87 ticks worth. Other than the language it is safe. And again the situations Farley gets into and the over the top coach makes for several good laughs. But safe and funny still do not make it a must see. I give it 2 out of 5 pushups. Make your call, just know before you go.
“Matt is a member of the North Texas Film Critics Association (NTFCA) and co-hosts a weekly radio feature, The Mungles on Movies, with his wife Cindy. For additional reviews, interview clips and great DVD giveaways, visit the website www.mungleshow.com”
Review copyright 2007 Mungleshow Productions. Used by Permission.