Only a one-star review for this slice of genius? This aggression will not stand, man!
Jared Hess, together with wife and co-writer/director Jerusha Hess, was responsible for the modern cult-classic Napoleon Dynamite [DVD] [2004
] and the Jack Black vehicle, Nacho Libre [DVD] [2006
]. Their personal formula of the bizarre life of oddballs combined with genius casting is very much in evidence in Gentlemen Broncos. Sam Rockwell (Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Moon) chews the scenery as the titular Bronco, playing dual roles in contrasting imagined extracts from the book written by the nominal hero, Benjamin (Michael Angarano), and plagiarised by Jemaine Clement's pontificating, self-obsessed sci-fi author, Dr. Ronald Chevalier. Héctor Jiménez (skinny wrestler Esqueleto in Nacho Libre) returns to work with the Hesses, here playing local auteur Lonnie Donaho who takes it upon himself to film Benjamin's novel.
The key ingredient to this film is how seriously everyone takes themselves. Each of the economically sketched characters is committed to their purpose in life, and their self-belief drives forward the occasionally bizarre plot stitched together with uniquely absurd comic situations. In particular, the cringeworthy sci-fi dialogue, delivered with equally straight-faced masculinity or effeminacy by Rockwell depending on which side of his character is being portrayed, is sheer genius. "Cyclops there, cyclops there - oh my holy crap, surveillance does. I hate those..."
If you enjoyed Napoleon Dynamite and Nacho Libre, you owe yourself the chance to discover this brilliantly ridiculous film.