Drillbit Taylor – Michelle’s Review


Have I said lately how much I really dislike Judd Apatow movies and Seth Rogen? Their films are generally hollow, profanity laced, geek boy fantasies. Where the slobby, foul mouth, fat jerk always ends up with the hot chick.  Their formula is successful, but it’s cookie cutter beyond belief.  The only difference is they switch between “Adult fair,” to “Teen fair,” without changing their character template.  Their latest effort Drillbit Taylor is the same basic film as all of the other Apatow productions. But what amazed me is, I actually kind of liked Drillbit. I generally love Owen Wilson, but a little of him goes a very long way.  Drillbit is kind of a modern remake of an early 80’s film called “My Bodyguard.”  It’s every picked upon nerd’s fantasy. If you can’t handle the school bully, why not hire someone to do it for you?  In this case the school bully Filkins (Alex Frost) is wonderfully insane.  He has the makings of future serial killer written all over his face.  Filkins has the ability to go from ‘Eddie’ Haskell Jr. to Norman Bates with minimal effort.  Our two nerds – Wade (Nate Hartley) and Ryan (Troy Gentile) have a reason to be scared. Where Superbad failed Drillbit somehow worked for me.  It’s almost the exact same movie. Same characters only different situation.  And just like Superbad, I couldn’t stand the fat kid – Ryan the wannabe rapper.  He is so unlikable it’s a wonder his mother loves him. Was writer Seth Rogen this annoying as a kid? I hope not. Then again it probably explains a lot about why he seems incapable of creating original characters.


But despite this I liked this movie, Owen Wilson’s Drillbit is just like every other Owen Wilson character – a fast talking, scheming, liar who is always looking for the next score. Drillbit, a homeless man sees these rich nerds as his meal ticket and instead of fighting the bullies for the kids, trains them how to fight.  So he says.  Along the way even a loser like Drillbit finds a hot teacher Barbara (Beth Littleford) to fall for.  While this movie didn’t contain one laugh out loud moment, it did feel more like a real film than previous Apatow productions. It’s not as over the top as previous efforts. Director Steven Brill does a great job with pacing, although the montage where Filkins and his buddy are terrorizing the nerds seems to go on forever as does a lot of the scenes with Wilson training the kids. It’s cute in small doses, eventually it starts to get annoying. I know it sounds like I didn’t like this film but it actually did work for me. It wasn’t laugh out loud funny and have I said how much I hated that fat kid? This is a wait for cable kind of film.

Final Grade C

EM Review by
Michelle Alexandria
Originally posted 4/21/08


  1. I saw this at a screening and was surprised to find out it was by the makers of Superbad and Knocked Up. It had a more gentle, younger tone to it, there were no raunchy parts like the earlier movies. Even though it was set in a high school, the main characters were all freshmen with no clue about what to wear or how to talk to girls (in other words, pretty accurate). There was only a slight reference to underage drinking and only because the older bullies threw a party at the end of the movie. Pretty kid-oriented fare, kind of reminded me of a Meatballs or Airplane-type comedy, only less funny.

  2. I haver to agree with neighbor says. Saw the screening and was expecting it to be really stupid. It was not a great movie but did have some good comedy to it. May want to wait for the DVD

  3. Yeah lots of these good comedies nowadays seem to be directed or at least producted by Apatow, somehow he keep putting out one great movie after another.

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