Thursday, June 15, 2006

Juegas futbol?: "Kicking & Screaming"

That's "Do you play soccer?" in Spanish. No reason for that other than it was one of the many stupid things me and my pal Tex said to each other during a swing through Europe seven years ago. (You should see the photo of us doing battle in the Colosseum. It's awesome.)

I won't spend much time on this recap because, well, this movie sucked. In fact, I very strongly suggest that when it comes to movies titled "Kicking and Screaming," you look a decade earlier and choose the more subtle comedy about recent college grads adjusting to adult life. It's far from perfect, but at least you'll laugh.

OK, OK ... I'll admit I also laughed a little at this "Kicking & Screaming," a "comedy" about Will Ferrell coaching his son's crappy soccer team. But only a little, while spending the rest of the movie wondering if I don't like "Bad News Bears" ripoffs or movies about soccer in general.

Our story has Ferrell, the underachieving son of ubercompetitive sporting goods store owner Robert Duvall, agreeing to coach his kid's team in a league ruled by Duvall's team. This provides opportunities for kids mugging for the camera, Ferrell mugging for the camera, Mike Ditka -- Duvall's neighbor -- mugging for the camera ... a lot of mugging. Did I mention the kids?

Ferrell can be funny, no question. I love "Old School" and have come around to "Anchorman" (even if Paul Rudd has the best lines). But he doesn't get much of a character here, and the attempts to draw out his crazy side -- hey, he's hooked on coffee ... hey, look at that crazy tiger-striped warmup suit -- fall flat.

And then there are the kids. Yeah, it's cute to see misfits make good, but trotting out a bunch of stock characters -- the smartass, the pipsqueak, the foreigners -- is a crutch. I also didn't buy that Ferrell's character and his kid had any familial connection at all. Now if he had taken his kid for a ride in the Red Dragon -- with the restrictor plate off to give it a little more juice -- we'd be getting somewhere. (Hey Mike!)


At 11:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This movie can't hold a candle to Lady Bugs.

I think it's time people realize that Will Ferrell can't carry a movie. His brand of physical comedy doesn't work for a whole movie. What made Old School and Anchorman work were that Ferrell had the comedy stylings of Vince Vauhn and straightman Luke Wilson or Paul Rudd and Steve Carrell to play off and give some variety to the comedy. The jazz flute and tranquilizer dart scenes in those movies are funny, but you can't watch 90 minutes of that.

PS. Donde esta el fuego?

At 3:02 PM, Blogger Jefferson said...

I agree, and can't say I'm too excited about this Ricky Bobby movie. Trailer doesn't look that funny, and it's not like they usually hold back the good stuff for this kind of movie. But hey, maybe it will be filled with subtle humor that doesn't come across in snippets. Yeah, right.

At 1:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I actually saw an extended preview of Talladega Nights, and all the scenes looked pretty good. I wouldn't expect a Tender Mercies guy to understand that, however.


Post a Comment

<< Home