[pullquote cite=”” type=”left, right”][amazon text=Amazon&template=carousel&chan=That Film Guy&asin=B003498RCW][/pullquote] Gentlemen Broncos is a film by director Jared Hess. He shot to prominence after the release of the critically acclaimed cult hit Napoleon Dynamite in 2004 and was praised for his unique style of deadpan comedy. This was followed in 2006 by Jack Black vehicle Nacho Libre, which was met with mixed reviews and employed the same kind of humour and film style. In 2009, Gentleman Broncos was released and followed suit, not only in style, but popularity from the previous two works.
The film focuses on the story of a famous science fiction author Dr. Ronald Chevalier (Jermaine Clement) plagiarising the debut novel of young aspiring author Benjamin Purvis (Michael Angarano). The film trickles along showing the bizarre and off-beat characters that inhabit Benjamin’s life and all the hardships he is forced to endure. At no point is it a fun watch and unlike Napoleon Dynamite it isn’t funny or uplifting at all.
Angarano gives a good account of himself in Gentlemen Broncos, as the constantly put-upon teenager Purvis, whilst Clement shows his natural comic stylings as the pompous and pretentious Chevalier. Unfortunately this is where the quality ends. The rest of the supporting cast are mindless and irritating and the action is so slow and seemingly pointless that you lose any interest after about half an hour. Hess attempts to include scenes from the novel in question (the terribly named Yeast Lords: The Early Years), but all it does is highlight the waste of acting talent within the film, as the usually wonderful Sam Rockwell is left to rot in the sun with nothing of note to actually do.
It is seeming more and more likely that Napoleon Dynamite was a lucky shot in the arm of comedy and by no means the new wave of script-style that many thought.