Friday, 6 April 2012

Gentlemen Broncos (2009)


Every now and then a film comes along that either you "get" or you don't.  For every blockbuster there's a Napoleon Dynamite; for every thriller there's a Mars Attacks; and for every (yet another) Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson "comedy" there's a Science of Sleep.  Gentlemen Broncos is certainly one of those films that is either going to appeal to your sense of humour or not; rather like Vic Reeves Big Night Out or more recently Noel Fielding's Luxury Comedy.

The story focusses on early teen fantasy novelist Benjamin (Michael Angarano).  He travels to a writers convention where he meets his idol, novelist Chevalier (Jemaine Clement - Flight of the Conchords).  Benjamin submits his latest novel "Yeast Lords - The Bronco Years" into competition that Chevalier will judge.  However, Chevalier thinks the novel is so good that he steals the idea, changes the names and publishes it as his own.

As this vague storyline is playing out, the film is interspersed with the story of The Yeast Lords.  Sam Rockwell is Bronco the Yeast Lord who must make his way to an enormous yeast factory, while avoiding capture by cyclopses (plural?), or being destroyed by battle stags.  The style of this story changes depending on whether we are hearing Ben's story, Chevalier's version, or a low-budget movie version produced by Ben's "friends" Tabatha and Lonnie.

This is a very hard film to review, because it is so damn strange.  The only thing I can really say is that I enjoyed it, and Jemaine Clement is superb as Chevalier, no-one could have played that character as he does.  Otherwise Gentlemen Broncos defies reviewing or recommendation, you just need to see it to decide whether you like it or not; or wonder what the hell it is all about.