Friday, August 26, 2011

Gentlemen Broncos

Yep. I said the same thing.
Oh dear. Where to start. Let’s say, hypothetically, that one sets out to make a movie. Let’s say, just for illustrative purposes, that one also decides to make that movie with…a unique purpose. Let’s say that purpose is to turn everything on its head by striving for excellence at being horrid. Bad. Amateur. Distasteful. Ugly. Inane. Pointless. Idiotic. Repellent by virtually every measure known to mankind. If all these hypotheticals were to be true, guess what? You’d be watching a movie far better than Gentlemen Broncos.

You know what, it reminded me of another movie I’ve seen before, that stands out for its utterly revolting effect upon my mind: Borat. I felt the need to cleanse afterward, which is the sort of sentiment one might find oneself articulating after mucking out the stables or inadvertently listening to hip hop.

And oh: I laughed. I did. But the movie wasn’t funny ha-ha. It was more funny what-the-f%#$. I’ll put it like this: a writer can get a reaction from a reader by deftly manipulating unlooked-for plot twists, but he can also get a reaction through sheer shock. Spoiler alert and exempli gratias: The protagonist runs out of a movie theater because he’s upset enough to vomit into a trash can. He’s followed by an antagonistic potential love interest; a seductress-type character who, once the protag has recovered sufficiently to draw breath and turn around to face her with the detritus of his activity all over his face, kisses him passionately, confessing her newfound realization of love to him. I mean yikes. This reminded me of the bedroom scene near the end of Borat.

And that reminds me of why I find myself once again in this kind of stupefaction. I remember now why I watched Borat all the way up to and beyond the aforementioned scene. It’s the same reason I watched Gentlemen Broncos: I kept repeating to myself, “Surely it gets better.” It didn’t. It got worse. It’s what I’m going to call dog-turd-humor from here on out. You get the idea. It’s a few notches below frat-boy-humor, which is exemplified by the Scary Movie franchise.

I was told that Gentlemen Broncos was like Napoleon Dynamite. It was, but only one of these movies was genuinely funny. The other was Gentlemen Broncos.

And though I’ve done my worst to destroy the thing, I have to say this too: there was one thing about the movie I absolutely loved. It’s the way Gentlemen Broncos roasted and mocked the sci fi genre. I’m no great lover of science fiction and I’ve made no secret of that. I look at it the exact same way I look at fantasy. I think, largely, these genres lived and died with their inventors; great masters of the craft of writing and creative thinking. Most of what came after is worthy of roasting with great vigor and extreme prejudice. Anything with wizards and unicorns and strangely named planets with freakish alien civilizations and impossible interstellar spacecraft has a mile-long list of hurdles to overcome on the believability scale, and it’s the brave writer who undertakes the genre, to say the least. I thought Gentlemen Broncos quite fittingly mocked all of it with Battle Stags and Yeast Factories and Old Pudding and Cyclopses and transvestite heroes who eat deer turds in order to fly. Those parts of the movie were uproariously just.

But the rest of it was only fit to be used as something to dip one’s blowgun darts into. Unfortunately you have to watch the movie to get the joke, which I don’t recommend at all. I watched it for its premise. I should have stuck with the trailer; it was far funnier. And now to try to gain back nearly two hours of my life that I have wasted.


  1. Chris, I completely agree with you in your take on BORAT. It's the only movie in my life that I walked out on, halfway through. It was just crude third-grade bathroom humor. Well, "humor" is the wrong word--nothing in it was funny. I'm nowhere near a prude--I've been in the Navy, in prison, been an outlaw half my life... and I was offended by the sheer trash on the screen. I think most third-graders would be offended as well and feel the movie was dumbed down.

  2. It's the same with SNL--it's beyond merely "offensive." Especially for those of us who grew out of it in 5th grade.

  3. Don't feel too bad about two hours wasted. I have fallen out of my chair a few times reading your review, with tears from laughter. You have been able to say what I was thinking when I saw that movie.

  4. Awesome. That's what I'm aiming for.