What You Need To Know:
The basic story, characters and lead performances in DRILLBIT TAYLOR are funny and appealing. Spoiling the comedy, however (especially for family audiences), are about 51 mostly light obscenities and some strong profanities and other crudities. Also, all the authority figures, except for the police, are portrayed in a negative light, including the abandoned mothers of Wade and Ryan. Thus, the movie’s negative content deserves an extreme caution.
(PaPa, B, C, Ho, LLL, VV, S, N, A, MM) Strong, somewhat mixed, pagan worldview about nerdy high school freshmen being bullied with some moral, redemptive elements (including one positive reference to God) where an aimless homeless thief repents a little bit, but where parents, school officials and authority figures are incompetent, absent, stupid, or ineffectual, including a stepfather who is a bully himself, two fathers who are missing, and two mothers who are clueless though perhaps well intentioned, plus a teenager hurls a crude homosexual insult at a bully during a rap contest; about 51 obscenities (mostly the “h” and “a” word for rear end with some “s” words), six strong profanities and eight light profanities, plus some vulgar talk; strong violence includes punching, fighting, bullying, people hit with objects during fighting, and man loses his pinkly finger protecting other people; some lightly crude sexual talk about girls by high school students, suggestive talk by two teachers and implied sexual trysts when two teachers go behind closed doors in several quick scenes and come out with hair and clothes slightly mussed; upper male nudity and rear male nudity in two or three shots; implied alcohol use in background; no depicted smoking or drugs though one man advises homeless guy not to spend money on marijuana; and, much lying, stealing ultimately rebuked, poor role models in authority figures, crude insults hurled during a rap contest, and boy calls his absent father a dirty word.
DRILLBIT TAYLOR is a very funny comedy about three white high school freshmen in Los Angeles hiring a cheap bodyguard to protect them from a mean, slightly psychotic older student. The comedy is spoiled by a lot of light obscenities coming from one of the children, some strong profanities and other crudities, and the fact that all authority figures, especially parents, step-parents and the school principal are completely clueless, incompetent and ineffectual, or worse.
Young Ryan and Wade are like the Laurel and Hardy of high school freshmen. Ryan is very chubby and Wade is super thin, but they are fast friends. Though somewhat nerdy, they can hardly wait to start their first day of high school.
Although they show up wearing the same goofy shirt, Wade attracts the attention of an Asian girl. When they witness a small boy being bullied by two older students, Wade decides to take a stand. The leader of the two bullies, Filkins, immediately turns his attentions to Wade and Ryan, making their life miserable.
Eventually, the boys decide to hire their own bodyguard, but the only cheap one answering their ad is Drillbit Taylor, a homeless thief played by Owen Wilson, who takes nude showers on the beach in Santa Monica. Drillbit, who used to be in the army, lies and claims to be skilled in martial arts and black-ops, but all he really wants to do is steal items from their houses while pretending to defend them. When, however, Filkins gives Wade a black eye, Drillbit decides to pretend to be a substitute teacher in the school to help Wade and Ryan. He discovers that all you need is to look clean, wear a suit and hold a coffee cup to get accepted by the other teachers, including an attractive one named Lisa.
Drillbit’s plan works pretty well until his homeless friends steal everything in Wade’s house, and the other bully learns who Drillbit really is.
The basic story, characters and lead performances in DRILLBIT TAYLOR are funny and appealing, but they are laced with many mostly light obscenities, some strong profanities and the movie’s poor role models in authority figures. Both Wade and Ryan’s fathers have abandoned their mothers. Ryan even calls his absent father a dirty name in one scene. Also, Wade’s stepfather turns out to be a former bully himself, but an unrepentant one. Finally, when the boys complain to the school principal and their mothers about Filkins the bully, they are easily fooled by the bully’s phony innocence, despite what Wade and Ryan say. The movie also has some light sexual content and at least one very crude sexual reference in the dialogue. Thus, although Drillbit redeems himself by the end and despite the movie’s cuter aspects, its negative qualities deserve extreme caution from family moviegoers, especially the vulgar language and the lack of positive authority figures. Because the authority figures do nothing to stop the bully, the movie’s premise may encourage more young people to take matters into their own hands when faced with a similar problem.