#REVIEW: “THE BRONZE”
Review by George Kozera for Mr. Will Wong
I make no excuses for my love of bawdy comedies as my own personal sense of humour tends to veer in that direction. I also confess to being a huge fan of THE BIG BANG THEORY. One particular episode, which revolved around a scavenger hunt, had Bernadette so riled up that despite the confines of commercial television which had her character mouth off in a PG fashion, you could see the f-bombs explode in her brain and etch themselves on her face. Melissa Rauch (who plays Bernadette) has added the letter N in the middle of her last name and stars in THE BRONZE, a Movie she also co-wrote and co-produced. Lord have mercy – this is one raunchy Movie. And Lord have mercy – this Movie is 15 minutes too long and gets tiresome fairly quickly. And Lord have mercy – when I laughed, I laughed with gusto!
Rauch plays Hope Ann Greggory, a U.S. gymnast who won Olympic bronze in 2004 after executing a routine with a torn Achilles tendon. She parlayed her fame as America’s Sweetheart with commercial endorsements and even a stint on TV’s DANCING WITH THE STARS. Now, 12 years later, still a celebrity in her small town in Ohio and living in her father’s basement, Hope continues to cling to her former glory down to her age inappropriate hairstyle and wearing her Olympic training suit daily and she continues to collect freebies from the town’s merchants. Unemployed and broke, she receives a letter from her former gymnastic coach, who committed suicide, bequeathing $500K in her will if she coaches the new Olympics hopeful, Maggie Townsend (played by newcomer Haley Lu Richardson in a Hannah Montana on Quaaludes fashion). Having no choice but to accept the offer, Hope also meets up with another Olympics coach, and former lover, Lance Tucker, played with malicious and gleeful aplomb by Sebastian Stan (Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Martian).
As a rule, reviewing comedies are generally difficult to do. Everyone’s sense of humour is as unique to them as their fingerprints. What makes me laugh might make you want to cross the street when you see me walking towards you. THE BRONZE had me in fits of laughter (one particular scene set in a motel room brings sexual hijinks and gymnastic precisions to unprecedented heights). Some scenes were funny and crude, while others were just too crude and mean-spirited. Vignettes that are meant to shock (Hope pleasuring herself while watching her Olympics performance on a VHS tape, for example) are a complete waste of celluloid while we sit and wait for the main character’s moment of redemption.
However, I admired Melissa Rauch’s sheer commitment to the role and her character. When THE BRONZE works, it is one of funniest Movies of the year. Sadly, due to the many scenes that don’t work, makes this feature marginal and unoriginal.
Mongrel Media release THE BRONZE Friday, March 18, 2016.