Thursday, December 29, 2016

The Bronze

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! I've got nothing to add here.  2016 has been a long year and I'm exhausted.

The Bronze – 3 out of 5

I’ve seen the trailer for The Bronze over and over and over again.  Not because I’m constantly YouTube-ing it or anything but more because it is constantly in front of the other movies I am watching on DVD.  I kept saying that it looked funny and I will have to check  it out but, for one reason or another, I never rented it but still continued to see it in the trailer section of the DVD’s I was checking out.  Finally, I decided I can take no more and I have to breakdown and finally give it a shot…and it wasn’t too bad.

U-S-A!  U-S-A!

The rude, crude bronze medal gymnast Hope Ann Greggory (Melissa Rauch) has been living off of her achievement for a long time in her hometown of Amherst, Ohio but, after her estranged coach commits suicide, her father (Gary Cole) informs her that the last wish she wanted was to see Hope coach a new prize athlete in town; Maggie Townsend (Haley Lu Richardson), and see her go for the gold—and it didn’t hurt either that there was a promise of a large sum of cash involved.  Now Hope, alongside her assistant coach Ben (Thomas Middleditch), is out to help Maggie achieve her dream but that all may be sideswiped by Hope’s former love interest and gold medal winner Lance (Sebastian Stan); who hopes to steal her away and coach the prodigy himself.  

I should put a Winter Soldier reference here but I got nothing.

Gary Cole will always be in my heart because of
The immediate thing you will notice about The Bronze (and it’s something the Red Band trailer emphasizes) is the shocking nature of the comedy.  Melissa Rauch (who also co-wrote the film with her husband) compiled a story with jokes that definitely made my jaw drop often but also really worked.  Not to mention, there’s a bit of a shock to the system of seeing the girl who is known for being the gal with the squeaky voice on The Big Bang Theory spit out some curses and vulgarity that would make a sailor shit their pants in surprise.  However, the comedy just doesn’t stop at swears because there are some well-constructed gags that go beyond vulgarity and are actually pretty witty and creative.  In fact, this movie is really funny and all the performers do a great job of making the comedy in this feature work.  The only problems come from a tone that sometimes feels uneven and some character development difficulties.

Why don't we see Thomas Middleditch in more movies?
That dude is hysterical!

Maggie is actually high in this picture but I just
realized she looks more like she's a corpse.
While this movie is clearly a comedy at heart, it does want to inject some heart and emotion in the film as we see why Hope is so ornery and why she holds so tightly to her past glory.  The problem that comes with this is there’s no real balance to the dramatic and the comedic parts and the tones very clearly shift depending on what approach the particular scene is taking.  This robs the film of its momentum and often causes the build-up the comedy has provided to come crashing to a sudden stop.  The movie also has a big problem with development and the characters never feel like they have a gradual change and growth but rather sudden bursts of alteration when it fits the plot.  For example, Hope is a horribly mean character for most of the film and it takes till pretty much the end of the movie for her to have her turn around and redemption.  Sure, there are hints and glimpses that she’s starting to understand that her attitude is wrong but these glimpses come with a transition back to how she acted to prior to all this and it makes for her real-deal change of heart feel kinda forced.

For her first feature length film as a writer, honestly she didn't do that bad.

The Bronze is not a deeply flawed movie but rather a comedy that has some minor issues with it.  When this film gets its formula right it is fantastic and I laughed liked crazy.  When it missteps, it’s a small hiccup or a fleeting moment of boredom.  However, that being said, I don’t see much replay value in this movie as it feels like a “one and done” type of movie; one where you check it out and then move on.  Although even with its problems it’s a pretty entertaining and wickedly vulgar comedy that has its heart in the right place.

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