Drillbit Taylor Review - A Budget Bodyguard With A Heart

Judd Apatow (The 40 year old Virgin) has done it again.  Combining his talents with Arnold Productions (Susan Arnold and Donna Arkoff Roth) and the ever popular Owen Wilson, Apatow has backed Paramount's Drillbit Taylor.  The screenplay by Kristofor Brown (Beavis and Butt-head) and Seth Rogan (Superbad) was directed by Steven Brill ( Without a Paddle).  The funny cast also includes Leslie Mann, David Dorfman (Emmit), Danny McBride (Don), Josh Peck (Ronnie), Troy Gentile (Ryan aka T), Nate Hartley (Wade), Alex Frost(Filkins). 

Owen Wilson and producer Judd Apatow

Multi-talented Owen Wilson is probably one of the least likely bodyguards you would ever find, but playing a dangerous, skilled AWOL soldier, Drillbit a.k.a. Bob, he lives a carefree homeless life on the beach until he finds an ad from three freshman high schoolers.  

Filkins and Ronnie (Josh Peck) attack Drillbit and the boys

Tormented by high school bully Filkins and buddy Ronnie, the boys try talking to parents and school authorities without success.  The freakishly-skinny magic-loving Wade, chubby buddy “T” aka Ryan, and shrimpy tagalong Emmit -- who's never had a friend in his life and is thrilled when the two boys rescue him -- decide they need to hire a bodyguard, but can only afford the con-artist Drillbit Taylor.

Lisa and Drillbit falling in love

He agrees to protect them from Filkins, the school's senior psycho in residence, who reports to no one but himself.  Stephen Root (Dodge Ball) shows his versatility once more as he plays the high school principal.

Bluffing and cajoling the credulous trio through his cockamamie boot camp and hilarious missteps, Drillbit instills in the boys new skills and much-needed confidence to end Filkins reign of terror.  Wade also learns to stand up for the girl he loves, played by Valerie Tian.

Leslie Man aka Lisa falls for Drillbit

Owen transforms from a homeless vagrant looking for some easy loot, to being a big brother to the boys.  In order to watch the boys, Drillbit  "inflitrates" the school as a substitute teacher, winning him the amorous attention of fellow teacher Leslie Mann (Lisa).  She believes him to be the decent honest man that has avoided her all her life, and is crushed when she learns the truth.  Nut, it is her faith in him the is part of his turnaround. 

Drillbit's buddies Don (Danny McBride) and Cedric Yarbough want in on the action

More than a hilarious fraud, Drillbit has many relatable human flaws.  When his fellow homeless friends want to rob Wade’s home, Drillbit defeats them.

Don, played by Daniel McBride, another "free" life, sees Taylor's enjoyment.  For a few days he also becomes a substitute teacher.  It is he who engineers the theft of Wade’s home.  

At the end, Drillbit must become the savior he had originally promised to be.

Don decides to see what subbing is about

The movie is becoming increasingly real to many schoolchildren.  Approximately 5.7 million American kids experience bullying every year, and very few of us felt we were in with the "in-crowd."  The writers Brown and Rogen took many of their own memories as fodder for the story. The story is basically a rite of passage, about becoming a man while your life is threatened.  It's tale that many of us can relate to.  Additional research went into creating the menagerie of mercenary techniques.  The writers used a military field guide to have the right language for traps and snares. 

Rated PG-13 for some crude sexual references, strong language, partial nudity, and drug reference, it nevertheless shows the life of bullied victims.

Owen Wilson as Drillbit, Nate Hartley as Wade, David Dorfman as Emmit and Troy Gentile as Ryan

The cast was completed with director of photography --  Fred Murphy; production designer-  Jackson De Groiva; editor Thomas Nordberg; Karen Patch – costume design;  Christopher Beck – music; and Manish Raval and Tom Wolfe – music supervisors.

For more information go to www.drillbittaylor.com

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