Patton perseveres with courtesy and indominable spirit on behalf of The Foot Fist Way
I'm a fan of Phipps. A phan of Phipps? His "Big Box of Paperbacks" is an abiding favorite.
I don't agree with his review, but I'm delighted by his reaction. I'm glad THE FOOT FIST WAY inspires so many different reactions. Hate it. Love it. Indifferent. It's not a needy comedy; it's not loud and clumsy and desperate, trying to connect with the viewer. It's got it's own, weird pace. The characters aren't controlled by the mechanics of a comedy plot, and the screenplay reads like things the filmmakers overheard. Or witnessed. I like movies with those qualities, and I hadn't seen a good one in a loooooong time.
But please, judge for yourself. I think Danny McBride -- along with Jody Hill and Ben Best -- has a unique comic vision, especially since he embraces the regionalism of North Carolina, and the South in general. Go see if I'm wrong.
And I disagree with a running theme in a lot of the negative reviews -- that the Fred Simmons character is simply there to be mocked and ultimately abused.
I think McBride and his colleagues love Fred Simmons and his ilk. But, like the creators of SPINAL TAP or DAZED AND CONFUSED, when you create characters that rich, the price is a lack of control. After awhile, you stand aside and shake your heads sadly at their bull-headedness, and their determination to burn the world down. Jean Teasdale, H.I. McDonough, Philly Boy Roy and David Brent must've put their creators through the same paces. Or, as a very wise screenwriter friend of mine said, after I expressed dismay that one of his characters smart-alecked his way into a bullet to the head: "Oh, I hated seeing that happen. But I realized there wasn't anything I could do to stop the dumb bastard getting himself killed". That's got to feel amazing, for a writer.
But again, please go see the movie and decide for yourselves. The A.V. Club's made up of exactly the kind of people who'd love a brilliant little movie like this -- or hate it, and be articulate and startling in their reasons why.
"Oh SHIT, we forgot to say grace..."