Paul Rudd, Seann William Scott
Wheeler: “Question, maybe a stupid one, but I’m just spit-balling here. The get out of jail free card…is that based on something that exists, or…?”
Beth: “…That wasn’t a stupid question.”
Wheeler: “It’s real…”
Danny: “It’s real in the game of monopoly.”
Wheeler: “Yeah, it’s based on true events.”
Danny: “Ho-, well, whaddya mean?”
After having a bad day, Danny (Paul Rudd) kinda loses it, breaks a few laws, and involves Wheeler (Seann William Scott) in it too. They either have to go to jail or do community service. Their service entails being big brothers to kids who need a good father figure in their lives. Naturally this results in comedy and mayhem.
Rudd and Scott may not have a lot of range in their comedic repertoire, but what they do, they do well. They get to play to their strengths in this movie, and I think that’s why it works. At least, for me it does. The two kids are good too, though I would’ve liked to see more backstory on Ronnie, the kid assigned to Wheeler. There’s a lot more emphasis on Augie, Rudd’s kid, which is ok, but it seemed like it could’ve been more balanced. Maybe there’s a longer version out there with more about Ronnie’s past…
As most movies like this are, it’s a very predictable, by the numbers story, but it’s done well enough that I was involved throughout. It had me actually kinda cheering on our heroes in the final epic battle scene. Yes, there is in fact an epic battle in the finale.
I liked how many characters got to have funny lines/moments. It wasn’t just a case where they had their two stars supply all the humor. That’s always a sign of good writing to me. Elizabeth Banks has some good moments. Jane Lynch is a little bizarre, but funny, as the head of the Sturdy Wings program. Then there’s a whole bunch of funny people to be seen in Augie’s live-action role playing group.
So yeah, funny movie, for the most part, with only a few lulls here and there.
10 – 2 for not developing Ronnie’s backstory more – .5 for a few dull spots + .5 for using an ELO song – .2 for going for easy laughs by having a little kid use a bunch of obscenties = 7.8