From the creative minds that brought you Napoleon Dynamite and Nacho Libre comes another film about the underdog getting his just desserts. The world created within Gentlemen Broncos centers on a tale of two writers, one established and published and the other an awkward teen with an overactive imagination. Although their on opposite sides of the spectrum, their lives will intertwine because of one story and one character named, Bronco.
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- Director: Jared Hess
- Writers: Jared Hess and Jerusha Hess (Read our interview)
- Cast: Michael Angarano, Jemaine Clement, Jennifer Coolidge, Halley Feiffer, Mike White, Sam Rockwell, Hector Jimenez.
Gentlemen Broncos centers on a 15 year old, aspiring novel writer named Benjamin. His genre of choice is science-fiction and he’s accumulated stacks and stacks of stories centering on a intergalactic hero named, Bronco (Rockwell). Benjamin has a unique voice when it comes to his work, but he’s being held back by his fear of rejection from the public. While attending a writers camp he meets his idol Dr. Chevalier (Clement), a man who by the time he was Benjamin’s age, already had a trilogy of books published. Through the advisement of his friend Tabatha (Feiffier), Benjamin decides to submit one of his Bronco stories into a writing contest for possible publication. Little does he know, after reading a few pages Chevalier plans on passing the work off as his own to salvage his failing career.
- Jemaine Clement: As a fan of Flight of the Conchords, you may be taken aback by the native New Zealander’s accent in this film. It’s an eerie mix between Michael York and James Mason, and he pulls it off like a pro. Everything about his portrayal of Chevalier is classic and undeniable.
- The Costumes: Similar to Napoleon Dynamite, Broncos takes place in the present day, but emphasizes fashion from the late seventies to the early nineties. High waist jeans, leather vests, and polyester button ups are just a few of the many over the top pieces of wardrobe that sparkled in this film.
- The Soundtrack: The music featured on the soundtrack is so fitting. It’s a combination of new wave and soft rock that really helps push the sci-fi sequences in the movie. Bronco’s theme song is a tune by the group, Zegar and Evans entitled “In the Year 2525,” which was a hit for the duo 40 years ago. It’s very catchy and might find new life with younger audiences thanks to this film.
- The Cinematography: There were sequences in Broncos where they had to cut between the actual film footage, and VHS material that was supposed to be shot by one of the characters. The overall look of it in terms of the camera positioning and quality made this movie appear dated, but in a good way. It was a clever mix between the two.
- Sam Rockwell: As the hero inside the book Gentlemen Broncos, Rockwell jumps between an overtly masculine southern cowboy to an effeminate cross dresser who wears lip gloss at the push of a keyboard button. As Bronco, he goes through several changes due to the different writing perspectives of Benjamin and Chevalier. He makes the transition between the two character types seamless and believable.
- Been there, Done that: During the film, you will get a great laugh and enjoy yourself, but after it’s over and done you’ll forget about it. There’s nothing in it that sticks with you beyond the voice of Jemaine Clement, which won’t leave your head for days. There’s no lasting effect, that would make you want to watch it over and over again. You can take it for what it is and move on.
Gentlemen Broncos is a great comedy that falls in line with what you would expect from Jared and Jerusha Hess. The story is decent, the performances are hilarious, and the fashion is out of control (take that how you want). If your looking for something to tickle your funny bone this weekend, Gentlemen Broncos would be a wise investment.
Gentlemen Broncos hits theaters nationwide on October 30, 2009.