Monday, February 26, 2007

SCHOOL FOR SCOUNDRELS - weaker than Vanilla Ice

SCHOOL FOR SCOUNDRELS is a weak romantic-comedy remake of the classic 1960s Brit flick. (Younger viewers might see a little of ANGER MANAGEMENT in the setup.) It stars Jon Heder (NAPOLEON DYNAMITE) as a doofus loser called Roger who signs up for an empowerment class with swindler, sleazebag and all-round geezer, Doctor P, played by Billy Bob Thornton. When Roger starts to do too well in class, Doctor P steals his girlfriend just because he can, challenging Roger to step up to the plate and take her back. So follows some lame-ass plot resolutions involving a cameo from Ben Stiller - whose plot line is left hanging in mid-air. Shorn of his afro, Jon Heder raises no laughs in this under-written comedy. The few laugh-out-loud moments largely consist of Billy Bob Thornton calling someone or other a "dumbass". There's another smart line about Moby. But call me an old stick in the mud - I just don't find jokes about rape that funny.

Maybe, just maybe, if you are a big enough fan of Thornton you could check this out on DVD, but frankly, the hundred and twelfth viewing of
BAD SANTA is going to be a lot more worthwhile. I am astounded that this film is directed by the same director who brought us OLD SCHOOL.

P.S. Sarah Silverman fans should not be fooled by the posters - her part is small and her talent utterly wasted here.

SCHOOL FOR SCOUNDRELS was released in the US, the Philippines, Thailand, Greece and Russia last year. It opened in Singapore, Latvia, Turkey and Estonia earlier this year. It is currently playing in the UK and opens in Iceland on March 2nd, Australia on March 22nd and in France on July 4th. SCHOOL FOR SCOUNDRELS was released on Region 1 DVD last week.

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