Starring: Owen Wilson, Josh Peck, Alex Frost
Director: Steven Brill
Running Time: 110 mins
Drillbit Taylor is an American film about a homeless man who acts as a former army officer to win a bodyguard job from a trio of schoolkids, who want protection from their bully.
High schools and bullies is never a premise that particularly interests me, simply because it always seems like such a trivial matter when portrayed in these comedic films. With Drillbit Taylor, that’s once again the case, bringing nothing new to a very dull and repetitive premise, made worse by its lack of properly funny comedy, or even a heartfelt story to bring some attention away from the dullness of the central plot.
But before that, let’s start off with a couple of positives, the biggest of which comes in the shape of Owen Wilson’s performance. In truth, this is hardly Wilson’s best turn on the big screen, but his natural charisma shines through a very dull character and underwhelming screenplay to make for a moderately entertaining presence throughout. Again, he’s not exceptional, but his performance is simple enough to make you smile every now and then, which was nice to see.
Another plus is the fact that there are a couple of jokes that will make you chuckle here and there. While that’s not quite enough to term this as a ‘good comedy’, it’s more than some of the worst comedies out there have done, and means that this is at times a little more likable and enjoyable than you may expect.
In general, however, Drillbit Taylor is a rather poor affair, failing to really grab you with a properly funny screenplay, entertaining plot, or anything else.
Above all, the biggest problem I had with this film was the fact that it just wasn’t funny enough. It may have a few lighter laughs from time to time, but the fact remains that the majority of the gags do fall rather flat, and given that the film is basing most of its entertainment factor on its ability to make you laugh, it feels pretty underwhelming throughout, and makes for a pretty boring watch.
What’s more is that it doesn’t do anything to make the plot stand out from the crowd of generic high school movies. While this doesn’t deal with the worst and most trivial matters of high school social hierarchies, all it does focus on is three kids being almost cartoonishly bullied by an over-the-top teenager, and doesn’t do enough to really make you care about the rest of the story.
It attempts to portray a kind and increasingly close relationship between Owen Wilson’s character and the three kids, but that’s nowhere near convincing or heartwarming enough to really grab your attention. As a result, you’re left with the generally underwhelming humour and the dull central high school story, and that’s why I’m giving Drillbit Taylor a 6.0 overall.