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School for Scoundrels


Stars: Billy Bob Thornton, Jon Heder, Jacinda Barrett, Michael Clarke Duncan, Todd Louiso

Director: Todd Phillips

Lanky, loose-lipped traffic warden Roger (Napoleon Dynamite's Heder), who's such a wimp he can be robbed of not only his tickets but his money and his uniform, enrols in a class of losers who want to be winners, run by the aggressive Dr P (Thornton).

It isn't long before Roger starts getting the hang of things - until he finds himself in direct competition with Dr P over the delectable Amanda (Barrett).

Vaguely based on the old Ian Carmichael/Terry-Thomas comedy (itself founded on Stephen Potter's witty books on gamesmanship), this new version isn't sharp enough and just doesn't hit the mark. Billy Bob seems reined in and, for the sake of the 12A certificate, is only allowed to swear once.

And the once-acclaimed giant, deep-voiced Michael Clarke Duncan has a demeaning role as Dr P's assistant. It's still sort of entertaining (with a wild-eyed guest cameo from Ben Stiller), but you won't remember it long.

David Quinlan

USA 2006. UK Distributor: Paramount/Dimension. Technicolor.
100 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 17 Feb 2007