(Originally published in buzz magazine on 3/23/2008)
The following is a verbatim transcript of the actual sales pitch given to Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow to write and produce Drillbit Taylor:
The rest is history.
All jokes aside, Drillbit Taylor reuses the Superbad formula with uninteresting results. Wade (Nate Hartley), an awkward, lanky kid with a meathead stepfather, and his big-boned friend Ryan (Troy Gentile) enter highschool with a bang. That is, the bang of a locker door slamming on a nerd named Emmit (David Dorfman). The three begin a search for a bodyguard who will protect them from two bullies, which turns up Drillbit Taylor (Owen Wilson), a homeless man seeking a quick score in order to expatriate himself to the Northwest Territories.
Wade, Ryan, and Emmit clearly resemble Superbad’s Evan, Seth, and Fogel, a.k.a. McLovin. Ryan and Seth both wear t-shirts with pop comedy references: one of Ryan’s shirts pays homage to South Park, while one of Seth’s elegizes Richard Pryor. Ryan’s exasperation with Wade’s sympathy for Emmit’s extreme uncoolness reminds filmgoers of Seth’s anger toward Evan for planning to room with Fogel in college.
The problem lies not just in the films’ likenesses, but also in the lameness of Drillbit’s jokes. The characters and problems in Superbad reminded a lot of young men of their own lives, but Drillbit just reminds them that sometimes screenwriters peak too early in their careers. Hopefully Pineapple Express, Seth Rogen’s next screenplay which will hit theaters in August, will prove me wrong.
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