Who needs role models when you can laugh your ass off with Paul Rudd and Seann William Scott pretending to BE Role Models?
Meet Wheeler (Scott ) and Danny (Rudd) -- two salesmen, who get to hawk a blue sugary caffeine-filled energy drink called Minotaur. Wheeler is a swingin', KISS-lovin' single guy who loves his job playing THE Minotaur, while depressed Danny has settled into a nice mid-life crisis, loathing just about anything and everyone. These two are just destined to become role models. And so after some very bad circumstances, Wheeler and Danny do just that, forced into 150 community service hours at a mentorship program. It's either play big brother to a couple of kids or go to jail. Danny gets assigned to Augie (Christopher Mintz-Plasse), a 16-year-old obsessed with Dungeons and Dragons medieval role play, while Wheeler gets a 10-year-old, foul-mouthed troublemaker named Ronnie (Bobb'e J Thompson). After one day, jail isn't looking half-bad.
For a premise that sounds a bit shaky, the cast of Role Models simply sell it. Thanks to the likes of Anchorman and 40 Year-Old Virgin, Paul Rudd has found his niche as the go-to guy for deadpan humor. Seann William Scott , too, seems more mature this time, finally shedding that American Pie smug arrogance he's had to live with for so many years. Virgin's Jane Lynch is hysterical as the head of the mentorship program Sturdy Wings, an ex-addict who takes no crap. Elizabeth Banks (she's in everything lately) also does a nice job as Danny's girlfriend who has had it with his behavior. And the kids add to the flavor: Mintz-Plasse, aka McLovin' from Superbad, gets to try something different as the geeky Lord of the Rings wannabe, while newcomer Thompson plays the smartass kid who curses with a certain panache.
Can you believe producer/writer/director Judd Apatow had nothing to do with Role Models? It seems to have many of his signature touches, including a pretty hard R rating for a movie with kids in it. But actually, Role Models comes from the minds of ex-The State members David Wain and Ken Marino, along with Paul Rudd and a few other writers. And for once, a long list of writers doesn't spell trouble for the film; it seems to have only enhanced the comedy. The best part of Role Models has to be the medieval role-playing festival, where all known D&D and LOTR enthusiasts come out in droves, dressed in full gear, ready to wage battle and clash rubber swords for their made-up countries' supreme dominance. It really happens, folks, and to have front-row seats to this world is quite a comedic treat.
Hollywood.com rated this film 3 1/2 stars.