Gentlemen Broncos (2009)
90 min., rated PG-13.
Grade: D +
In the case of "Gentlemen Broncos'" characters' hideously designed clothing, hack literature, and the movie itself, none of the above knows if it's a mock-up of bad kitsch or just bad kitsch itself. Either way, it's as cringe-inducing as watching William Hung sing “She Bangs.” Another misfit story from the "Napoleon Dynamite"/"Nacho Libre" team of writer-director Jared Hess and his wife, co-writer Jerusha Hess, home-schooled Utah teen Benjamin (Michael Anganaro) writes a sci-fi masterpiece called “Yeast Lords: The Bronco Years.” But after our hero attends a writers' camp, taught by “brilliant” sci-fi novelist Ronald Chevalier (Jemaine Clement), he gets his manuscript stolen and published under a different name into Chevalier's new best-seller.
Clement, the film's lone semi-bright spot, is a hoot as the smug, idiotic author who tells his students to always use “anous” as the suffix of their protagonist's name. But the stuff involving amateur filmmaker Lonnie (Hector Jimenez), who wants to turn Benjamin's book into a feature film, is shticky and teeth-grindingly unfunny. The schlocky Mystery Science Theater 3000-esque visualizations of “Yeast Lords” with a game but wasted Sam Rockwell as Bronco/Bruto are meant to be ridiculous, but they don't exactly show off Benjamin's work as the good literature it's hailed to be and aren't terribly funny with burp and vomit gags. Also, a python poops on Mike White's strange character and poor Jennifer Coolidge, as Benjamin's nurturing mother, gets abused by rat-poisoned darts.
This off-putting comic-absurdist dud condescends its pathetic, peculiar oddball characters, but is almost more successful in its self-conscious weirdness than juvenile gross-out humor. No matter what, "Gentlemen Broncos" is recommended only to those that actually “got” "Napoleon Dynamite."