(2006) dir. Jody Hill
viewed: 06/17/08 at AMC Loews Metreon 16 with IMAX, SF, CA
Produced a couple of years ago, but just recently picked up for major (or semi-major) distribution by a company affliliated with Will Farrell and others, The Foot Fist Way has been getting some pretty good chuckles in reviews that I have read of it. Me, being more or less up on current releases than anyone else I know, seem to be the only one that I know who had heard of it. I can tell you, now having seen it, I can think of several friends who would probably like it even more than I did.
A low-budget comedy about a Tae Kwon Do instructor in a strip mall in North Carolina who is in most every way conceited, obnoxious, and not even a fraction as intelligent as he thinks he is, the movie is a bumpy ride along the goofball world of Mr. Fred Simmons, fourth level black belt. Written collaboratively by star Danny R. McBride, co-actor and director Jody Hill, and actor Ben Best, the film is choppy and sloppy, occasionally with an almost mockumentary aesthetic. But the bottom line is the hard punch comedy, wheeling around the hilarious performance by McBride as the asinine instructor.
The film isn’t funny all the way through, but its best moments are very funny. There are numerous quotable quotes, which I am finding hard to deliver verbally when I am telling people about it. The one I’d read in one review cracked me up, “Meditation is terrific and all, but I’ve never heard of it saving anyone from a gang rape type situation.” But you really have to see it to get the full force of the gags and the performance. McBride delivers lines that are classics, but in context and in delivery.
I normally note what a sourpuss I am about comedies, but this film appealed to me. The odd thing was that there were trailers for two other upcoming comedies that look funny, in particular Tropic Thunder (2008) which looks funny enough in Robert Downey, Jr. alone, and The Pineapple Express (2008), which looks good but potentially sappy as well.
I guess I was in the mood for laughs.
This film is a little bit “Borat” and a little bit Office Space (1999), a genuine future for cultish imitations in social settings all over, and probably a career kick for all involved.