Saturday, October 10, 2009

Worst of the Worst: #94, The New Guy

Do you remember that scene in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back when the two main characters, running through a Hollywood backlot, stumble on the set for Good Will Hunting 2: Hunting Season? They see Affleck and Damon shooting a horribly written scene and when Affleck asks the director for guidance, Gus Van Sant is sitting in the corner, counting his money, and yells out, "I'm busy, Ben." While I wouldn't think that he made so much money, I can imagine that the director of The New Guy, the ninety-fourth worst movie of the decade accoring to Rotten Tomatoes, paid as close attention to the shooting of his crapfest.

The scene that proves this happens towards the beginning, as the main character, portrayed by DJ Qualls, has inexplicably landed himself overnight in a maximum security prison for not doing anything wrong. His cellmate, portrayed by Eddie Griffin, is teaching him how to be feared by other prisoners. Throughout the film, Griffin constantly plays with a lighter, flipping it open and lighting it over and over. In the scene in question, Griffin, talking, flips open the lighter, hits the wheel, and it doesn't light. Then, still talking, he closes it, flips it open again, and lights it successfully. To put it plainly, Griffin screws up during the take and the director still put it into the film.

Such is the norm in a movie as bad as The New Guy. To be honest, it flirts with awesomely bad. There were a few moments that made me laugh out loud because they were so bad. However, there were more moments during which I looked at the time to see how much was left and questioned why I had undertaken this ordeal in the first place. In other words, kudos to Rotten Tomatoes. So far all of the movies I've seen on their list are truly awful.

The story is lame and the jokes fall flat, but the real abomination here is the acting. Qualls and Griffin are as bad as you might expect. Qualls was funny in Road Trip and actually pretty good in Hustle and Flow and the one Lost episode he did, but not here. Griffin is, well, Griffin. You would also expect bad acting from Eliza Dushku and Lyle Lovett (Lovett is offensively bad), and the movie has actual speaking parts for such accomplished thespians as Gene Simmons, Kool Moe Dee, Jermaine Dupri, Tommy Lee, and Vanilla Ice. With that Augean Stables-esque heap of atrociousness, the travesty comes in the form of Zooey Deschanel, just one year before her breakout in Elf. The recent cotton commercial aside, it's painful to see such a huge talent wasted in the part of the non-threatening female friend.

The plot of the movie is that a big loser goes to jail and learns how to be the kid that everyone fears, so he gets himself expelled from his high school, moves to another one, and becomes the school bad-ass. What results is a gross-out teen comedy, but it's rated PG-13. There is no edge, no joke so gross that you can't help but laugh, and absolutely zero intelligence. What kind of person likes a movie like that? Here's one of a frightening number of 10-star reviews on imdb:

"If you are expecting another teenage gross out film, you'll be surprised to
find out that this is a cleverly disguised sweet movie about trying to fit in
that cold cruel world called high school. This movie is filled with surprizes
for movie buffs...and keep your eyes open for alot of surprize cameos. And when
the credits start to roll, stick around for the out takes. You will smile all
the way home. "

Right, so... This is number ninety-four. How many worse comedies are on the list? Soldier on. Five down, ninety-five to go.


Roy said...

Figured you'd appreciate this.... I'm in a hotel in Washington D.C., still up at 1:43 am. Why? Because a movie is on TV, and Kylie and I can't turn it off. What channel? HBO, of course. What's the name of it? Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever. It's everything you'd dream it will be.

Josh said...

I saw it was on, but not until 10 minutes after it started. I'll try to catch it next time.

Steve said...

I saw The New Guy a few years ago. While it wasn't the best movie I have ever seen, I don't think I would put it on the Worst Movies list. It is nowhere close to No Country for Old Men.