Several of Owen Wilson's movies during his dozen-or-so-year career have been top-notch comedy productions; movies like "You, Me and Dupree," "The Wedding Crashers" and "Meet the Fockers" quickly come to mind. However, "Drillbit Taylor" will not be making such a list.
Wilson's character Drillbit Taylor had a short-lived Army career -- he decided it was time to go AWOL when he first heard gunfire in the distance. He is now homeless, living out of a cardboard box somewhere in the grassy hills near the beach in Southern California.
A down on his luck scam artist at best, he is anxious to come up with a few hundred dollars that will get him to Canada and the upper regions of the Yukon where he is convinced he can make a better life for himself.
Meanwhile, best friends Ryan (Troy Gentile) and Wade (Nate Hartley) are getting ready for their first day of high school. When Ryan attempts to intervene while school bully Filkins (Alex Frost) is harassing fellow new student Emmit (David Dorfman), the various forms of mayhem being dished out are now directed at all three freshmen.
This continues day after day and nothing they do can stop it. So the three boys pool their assets and place an ad for a bodyguard.
Taylor responds and using his best con-man approach convinces the boys his vast experience as an Army Ranger will protect them.
While the boys think they have found the answer to their problems, Taylor is using them to scam the money he needs for his trip up north. He goes so far to clean up nicely in a suit and tie he stole and shows up at the school as a substitute teacher (using this opportunity to romance one of the female teachers while he is there).
But along the way Taylor takes a liking to his young clients and is torn between ripping them off and helping them fight the bully.
The laughs were far apart and few in numbers. Wilson's character is very familiar, the same laid-back, not-too-smart role we have seen before, but this time it was missing something. Maybe we have seen it one too many times. Can you say stereo-typed?
Also, in this day and age where school violence all too often makes the nightly news, a bully dishing out serious aggression is just not funny.
That said, Gentile, Hartley and Frost were fine actors.