Drillbit Taylor (DVD)

“You know what this is?” bodyguard-for-hire Drillbit Taylor (Wilson) asks his juvenile employers, raising his arm. “It’s my wing. And you’re now under it.”

He could also have been referring to the slightly stale odour no doubt emanating from his armpit, which is precisely the whiff that surrounds this slightly stale comedy. It's all amiable enough, as you'd expect from Wilson spouting a screenplay by Rogen, but Wilson could do this sort of crumpled charm thing in his sleep and much of the screenplay is proof that Rogen could now write a shopping list and get it produced. The biggest problem is given that heritage and despite the best efforts of the young cast, particularly Gentile's chubby Ryan, it's really not as funny as you think it's going to be.

Drillbit is a former Special Ops soldier down on his luck and living rough, who responds to an ad from new high schoolers Wade (Hartley) and Ryan (Gentile) to provide them with protection from psychopathic bully Filkins (Frost). While Drillbit's not exactly the ideal candidate, he's the one the boys can afford so he gets the job. He passes himself off as a teacher, begins a fling with a pretty colleague (Mann) and trains the boys — sort of — in martial arts.

Inevitably the whole ruse falls apart before a rousing finale which, unsurprisingly, sees his young charges triumph and Drillbit overcome some of his personal flaws to get the girl and get his life back on track, etc. Original this isn't ... but, more to the point, it's just not funny enough either. The big jokes are telegraphed and the set pieces (particularly the bodyguard interviews) are predictable. While Drillbit Taylor will probably keep you smiling, thigh-slapping moments and big belly laughs are notable by their absence and, at 97 minutes, it all comes perilously close to outstaying its already limited welcome.

EXTRAS ** An audio commentary, an interview with the writers, some deleted scenes and a gag reel. Pretty standard stuff.

Stuart O'Connor is the Managing Editor of Screenjabber, the movie review website he co-founded with Neil Davey far too many years ago. He likes all genres, as long as the film is good (although he does enjoy the occasional bad "guilty pleasure"), and drinks way too much coffee.

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