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Drillbit Taylor


Stars: Owen Wilson, Leslie Mann, Noah Hartley, Troy Gentile, Josh Peck, Alex Frost, Adam Baldwin, Frank Whaley

Director: Steven Brill

The selling line says it all: 'The best bodyguard pocket money can buy'. Three high school nerds, bullied in their first term, advertise for a bodyguard, but find all the replies out of their financial league. Except one. Drillbit Taylor (Wilson) is an army deserter turned homeless hobo, out to make a fast buck for his passage to Canada. Even the kids' 83 dollars is a start.

Drillbit somehow bluffs his way into school as a substitute teacher and even gets to bag the only female member of staff, while relying on his wits to keep the Three Stooges out of trouble. Comes a day of reckoning of course and Drillbit is found wanting.

Will he come back to help the kids in their hour of need? Is the Pope a Catholic? Never mind, the role is tailor-made for Wilson, and the boys - one of them nicknamed Skeletor - so bulliable it isn't true. 'As the army says,' claims Drillbit. 'Have it your way.' 'No,' one of the kids reminds him. 'I think that's Burger King.'

Hartley and Gentile (Michael Cera and Jonah Hill in waiting) are perfectly cast as two of the wimps and, although the film is overly simplistic, it resists crudity, maximises its stereotypes without making them ridiculous and generally makes easy entertainment on all fronts.

Alan Frank

USA 2007. UK Distributor: Paramount. Colour by deluxe.
101 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

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

Review date: 21 Mar 2008