Drillbit Taylor Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
Real life bullies are not funny, yet moviemakers continue to use them for comedic plots in films like Drillbit Taylor. After the plot is manipulated to include only buffoonish adults and absentee teachers, three high school freshmen are forced to resort to fists in order to deal with an abusive upperclassman. However, this violence punched up with plenty of one-liners and slapstick humor in an effort to make it more acceptable.
Intervening on behalf of a tortured classmate on the first day of school makes Wade (Nate Hartley) and Ryan (Troy Gentile) the new, favored targets of Filkins (Alex Frost) and his buddy Ronnie (Josh Peck). But a week of unabated harassment leaves the two boys and their new friend Emmit (David Dorfman) looking for some help. Unfortunately their mothers (Beth Littleford, Lisa Ann Walter) and Wade’s intimidating step dad (Ian Roberts) all appear unapproachable. So is Principal Doppler (Stephen Root), who only laughs at the boys after they approach him with their concerns.
Pushed to take matters into their own hands, Wade, Ryan and Emmit scrape together their funds and advertise for a bodyguard. Among the applicants is Drillbit Taylor (Owen Wilson), a former member of the U.S. military. For a price, he agrees to keep the boys out of harm’s way.
The trouble is, Drillbit is a little iffy when it comes to the truth. Although he becomes the one adult the boys do trust, in reality, he’s a liar and con who even poses as a substitute staff member to worm his way into the school. There, instead of keeping a constant eye on his employers, he is soon distracted by the English teacher (Leslie Mann) with whom he repeatedly shares sexual favors. His martial arts training and fighting skills are also questionable, leaving the tormented boys undefended and duped.
While the film’s producer, Judd Apatow, may be best known for his raunchy humor in movies like Knocked Up and Superbad, this high school adventure seems aimed at a younger teen audience, making the characters’ constant use of sexual references, vulgarities and drug references even more unappealing. Along with Drillbit’s bare buttocks, the film also exposes frequent examples of excessive high school hazing and a total lack of consequence for any actions.
The script fails when it comes to giving teens true-to-life tactics for facing their own foes and makes school violence a joke rather than a legitimate concern. With so little to offer, Drillbit Taylor is a belabored experience that isn’t just unrealistic, it’s downright painful.Starring Owen Wilson, Leslie Mann, Troy Gentile, Nate Hartley, David Dorfman,. Running time: 110 minutes. Theatrical release March 20, 2008. Updated May 4, 2009
Rating & Content Info
Why is Drillbit Taylor rated PG-13? Drillbit Taylor is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for crude sexual references throughout, strong bullying, language, drug references and partial nudity
Although this film appears to be aimed at a teen and preteen audience, the script is full of moderate profanities, crude references to male anatomy, sexual innuendos, urination jokes and name-calling. Frequent high school hazing shows boys being attacked in the bathroom, humiliated in front of classmates, punched, pushed and intimidated. Adults and minors also fight and threaten others. Household items and a sword are used as weapons, and criminals illegally enter a house. Implied sexual activity repeatedly takes place in a school classroom, girls are seen in bikinis and buttock nudity is shown in a nonsexual situation. The script contains a brief portrayal of drinking along with an irreverent reference to Deity and discussions of drug use and pornography. A homeless man ingests hand sanitizer.
Page last updated May 4, 2009
More parents' guide for Drillbit Taylor after the break...
Drillbit Taylor Parents' Guide
While bullying is portrayed with plenty of laughs in this film, the movie offers few if any constructive tips for dealing with this problem. A Reader’s Digest article offers kids and parents some helpful suggestions at www.readersdigest.ca/mag/2001/10/bullying.html.
In the story, a crowd of students stands around and watches the interactions without becoming involved. What role do bystanders play in furthering the violence? What steps could members of the crowd take to intervene or stop the violence? For ideas, visit www.parenting.org/flight/e_current.asp.
Do storylines like this one contribute to a child’s concerns about entering high school? Is this an accurate depiction of all high school experiences? What can parents, teachers and other adults do to make this transition easier?
The most recent home video release of Drillbit Taylor movie is June 30, 2008. Here are some details…
Drillbit Taylor releases to DVD in two versions. The Wide Screen Theatrical Version offers audio commentary with director Steven Brill, screenplay writers Kristofor Brown and Seth Rogan, plus actors Troy Gentile, Nate Hartley and David Dorfman. In addition, there are twelve deleted scenes. Audio tracks are available in Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English, French and Spanish), with subtitles in English, French and Spanish
Drillbit Taylor: Unrated, Extended Edition provides all of the above, as well as more deleted scenes (nineteen in total), featurettes and trailers. Audio tracks are available in Dolby Digital 5.1 TrueHD (English, French and Spanish), with subtitles in English, French and Spanish
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In Napoleon Dynamite, a teen finds quirky ways to deal with being on the fringe of the social circle in a small town high school. Two misfits find a positive way to deal with bullies in their lives when they combine their strengths to become The Mighty. Owen Wilson stars as a miniature-sized cowboy who comes to life every evening in Night at the Museum.