Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Movie Review #398: "The Bronze" (2016)

Movie"The Bronze"
Director: Bryan Buckley
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 48 minutes
Image Source
Hope Ann Greggory (Melissa Rauch) is an Olympic bronze medalist who won her team a medal when she chose to compete with a torn ACL. She is a hometown's sweetheart in Amherst, Ohio, but has grown up to be a resentful, mean spirited, foul mouthed brat, who skates by in life exploiting her fading star for free pizza and free shoes. After her old coach commits suicide, it is discovered that she has left Hope $500,000, provided she guides her star pupil and Olympic gold medal hopeful Maggie (Haley Lu Richardson) to the Toronto Olympic games.

Melissa Rauch stars as Hope Ann Greggory in "The Bronze." Rauch wrote the film along with her husband Winston Rauch. It is in this writing where the film primarily fails. This movie is supposed to be comedy, and the Rauch's have made the classic mistake of confusing crassness and raunchiness for humor. We say this time and time again when we review movies: dropping F-bombs is not funny and does not serve as the joke alone, even if these instances of profanity are coming out of the mouth of a nasally sounding woman with an odd vocal cadence. This film is offensive, but it isn't that offensive. "The Bronze" doesn't hold a candle to something like "The Brothers Grimsby" where crudity is concerned. At least we found "Grimsby" moderately entertaining. This movie, however, isn't entertaining in the slightest.

What could have been a poignant indie tale of redemption instead becomes a moot point as a massively unsympathetic asshole isn't remotely pleasant to watch. Hope, played by Melissa Rauch herself, is a wholly unlikable character. Her attitude, outlook, and demeanor go beyond mean-spirited. She spends the entire film being an insufferable, abrasive, rude, uncouth brat, and when it hits its ending, even with a small amount of personal growth, we still don't feel like Greggory has earned her redeeming finale. Just because she shows a teensy, weensy modicum of forgiveness in the last 1% of the film doesn't make up for the other 99% of her constant bitching and scheming. We think not. She doesn't deserve it, and the movie sure as hell doesn't deserve it, either. Writers can make crude, impolite characters charming, it's really not that difficult and has been done a billion times elsewhere, but Hope Ann Greggory is awkward, lewd, and startlingly classless in every sense. She's not just nasty, she's intolerable. She's not charming, she's not funny, and we never for one second believe she will ever change the way she is, even when the movie tries to force us to believe she's changing. We hope Melissa Rauch is happy she with the job she did portraying a terrible person like this. Because of her character here, we never want to watch her act ever again.

Luckily, Maggie, played by Haley Lu Richardson, is the antithesis of Hope. She is bubbly and has a lot of promise. Maggie takes a liking to Hope despite all of her many, many flaws, including her incessant mistreatment of her as her coach. Maggie, however, is gullible to a fault. She and Ben, played by Thomas Middleditch, another character in Hope's life who is seemingly innocent and impressionable to a fault, are the only likable characters in "The Bronze," and even then, they are only marginally tolerable. We don't understand why Maggie and Ben, two seemingly goodhearted characters built on backstories of niceness would want to be around Hope. Even at her best, she's a vile human being and treats others with the same respect a garbage can gets on the daily. Her deplorable behavior even makes us wonder why her dad sticks around because at some point, a person like her becomes so unlovable, even their own parents want them gone.

We sat in the theater for almost 2 hours hoping to laugh at least once or twice to make it worthwhile and to keep it out of the "worst of the worst" category, but we could barely muster up a chuckle or two. Outside of the comedy aspect, there are a couple of worthwhile scenes, including one rather impressively done sex scene that doesn't wind up being funny, but does display an astounding set of gymnastics for such a series of acts. This is one of the only times we chuckled. The things body doubles can do!

It is extra disappointing for us when independent films are this bad because when we dig for these type of movies, we hope to uncover hidden gems we can give positive feedback and good word of mouth. Here, we wound up uncovering a stinky turd that should have remained buried. Much like a Melissa McCarthy-style comedy, "The Bronze" roots itself in pushing the limit, but does so in a way that doesn't feel natural or smooth. Don't waste your time on a movie that mistakes lazy jokes and new profane phrases as comedy. Don't waste your money on a film about an unlikable protagonist who does everything she can to be a shitty person until she gives redemption a shot, which is too little, too late. Don't waste your effort on a flick that just isn't worth it.

My Rating: 2/10
BigJ's Rating: 2/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.5/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 32%
Do we recommend this movie: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!
One year ago, we were watching: "American Arab"

No comments:

Post a Comment