Mr. Woodcock

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -4

Billy Bob Thornton, Seann William Scott, Susan Sarandon. Comedy. Written by Michael Carnes, Josh Gilbert. Directed by Craig Gillespie.

FILM SYNOPSIS: John Farley is a self-help author who returns to his hometown only to discover that his mother has fallen in love with his old high school nemesis, Mr. Woodcock the gruff, no-nonsense gym teacher who had put him through years of mental and physical humiliation. Determined to prevent history from repeating itself, the frustrated author sets out to stop his mother from marrying the man who had made life miserable for him and his classmates.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Nobody plays barbaric bullies better than Billy Bob and he manages to hold our attention throughout this lame comedy with that same satanic gusto. But his character is not amusing fodder for humor as there are such people who dominate and make the lives of others miserable. I can understand why the Seann William Scott character would not want this man to marry his beloved mother. These types can become violent and usually are both in demeanor and physicality toward the women they marry. Of course, Mr. Scotts John Farley isnt much more likeable. Hes written a self-help book, which he ignores, and manages to make every dumb move possible when attempting to expose Woodcock for the monster he is.

The humor has about the same consistency as most of the comic efforts from this past summer, the writers quiver being equipped mainly with arrows of vulgarity or crudity or obscenity. To be fair, these are talented people and the script does contain some chuckles, even a guffaw or two, but overall, I found it mean-spirited and tedious.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
New Line Cinema

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: There is a great deal of crude humor and language, mainly from Amy Poehler, who plays a frenzied, alcoholic Midwest-phobic publicist; the actress from Saturday Night Live uses a stream of invective language as a means of portraying her character.

Obscene Language: Around 40 obscenities and several minor expletives (damns and hells).

Profanity: One profane use of Gods name and two of Christs. Jesus is also used as a joke in one scene. This use borders on blasphemy and made me feel uncomfortable.

Violence: Theres an air of violence around Mr. Woodcock, as if he would harm you if pushed. Indeed, it is insinuated that he has killed a cat by strangling it. He berates schoolboys and even brutalizes them. Of course, this is all played for laughs. Blood: Farley receives some cuts and bruises from slapstick attempts at besting Mr. Woodcock.

Sex: Mr. Woodcock and Farleys mom are having an affair, whereupon it is implied that he often stays the night. Though there are several sexual discussions, mostly of a crude nature, most of the sexual situations are played off camera.

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Some social drinking; one character is a lush and this alcoholic problem is played for laughs.

Other: None

Running Time: 90 minutes
Intended Audience: Older Teens and Adults

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