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Gentlemen Broncos


Stars: Michael Angarano, Halley Feiffer, Jennifer Coolidge, Jemaine Clement, Hector Jimenez, Sam Rockwell, Mike White, Clive Revill, Suzanne May, Johnny Hoops, John Baker, John Pleshette

Director: Jared Hess

Despite a great soundtrack and a decent ending, this appallingly botched surrealist comedy is, even at this early stage, likely to make many people's worst 10 lists of the year.

Where to begin? Benjamin (Angarano) is a nerdy teenager who writes incredibly crude and juvenile science-fiction 'novellas', most recently a saga of the Yeast Lords. His mother (a dressed-down Coolidge), who brings a new dimension to ditziness, designs disgusting dresses that only an alien might wear.

At a sci-fi festival, Benji bows before the throne of impossibly pretentious Dr Chevalier (Clement) who reads frankly unprintable extracts from his books whose sales are (believably) diving. 'If there's one thing I can't stand it's plagiarism,' he wails, promptly stealing Benji's proffered Yeast saga as his own.

Unbelievably misjudged and unfunny, the amateurish capers that follow are a real turn-off, making Jack Black's home movies in Be Kind Rewind look like masterpieces. As a satire, it's toothless, as a comedy witless, with a string of dud performances capped by Jimenez's repellently camp 'portrayal' (if one can so dignify it) of a prancing, leering, lip-jutting 'movie-maker' who makes a papier-maché version of Benjamin's Yeast chronicles that would look bad on a primary school stage. Run.

David Quinlan

USA 2009. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox (Fox Searchlight). Colour by deluxe.
89 minutes. Not widescreen. UK certificate: 12A.

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

Review date: 30 Apr 2010