Bobby Z

"OK"

Bobby Z Review


If there's one thing you learn from movies, it's that you should never -- under any circumstances -- expect that working for the Man (DEA, CIA, FBI, any of them really) is going to be easy. Especially if they ask you to impersonate the legendary Bobby Z, drug dealer and beloved surfer (yes, you read that right), in a hostage exchange with a Mexican drug kingpin. You can pretty much guarantee that things are going to sour. And fast. Yes, there will be blood, bullets and if you're lucky, some T&A.

Former Marine and perpetual bad boy Tim Kearney (Paul Walker) has been asked to do just that. Serving a long prison sentence for all manner of illegal activities, Kearney is given conditional release if he's willing to impersonate the missing Bobby Z. DEA agent Tad Grusza (Laurence Fishburne) sets Kearney up for the exchange. Kearney looks enough like Bobby Z to pass muster, but the exchange goes to hell and Kearney is left to fend for himself. When he's captured and taken to Don Huerto's (Joaquim de Almeida) palatial Mexican estate, he meets Bobby Z's old flame Elizabeth (the striking Olivia Wilde) and her teenaged son, Kit, who just might be his (well, Bobby Z's) kid. Because Kearney isn't Bobby Z, and because he's far too brash and selfless, all sorts of trouble ensues.

Bobby Z is, frankly, preposterous. Not only is the whole Kearney/Bobby Z switcheroo absurd (Kearney's given just a few days to "become" another person) but Grusza's reasons for setting up this elaborate hoax are really strained. Yet, ridiculous plot machinations aside, the film moves at a quick clip and never takes itself too seriously. That's a very good thing. (Think the bastard child of Zorro and Commando.) And as with every crime film made today, there are all manner of Tarantino-like quips, asides, and one-liners. Today's cons can't be brutes; they've got to be quirky. Today's cops can't be donut-munching caricatures; they've got to be punsters.

Paul Walker has been in a string of similar films. He's got a movie star mug and the everyman persona to fill the boots of any cop or ex-con. (In Walker's films, those roles are almost interchangeable.) He channels a surfer vibe as though he learned to act by watching Keanu Reeves in Point Break. It's a cool swagger and a knowing ice-eyed gaze. Most of the time it works. Lawrence Fishburne goes way over the top as the smarmy cowboy Tad Grusza. He's both menacing and laughable. But the actors aren't the draw here. It's the action. And indeed, Bobby Z does deliver on stunts. Whether it's horse vs. dirtbike action or bloody fisticuffs, the melees are well-timed and choreographed but not very gritty. There is no down and dirty violence and no sense of real danger. Frankly, the action is so cartoonish and the flick so slickly shot, it's like an overproduced pop song. It just feels phony.

Comical and gimmicky to a fault, Bobby Z will appeal to action cinema's less demanding fans. There's a reason this went straight to DVD, folks.

The DVD includes a behind-the-scenes featurette.

Aka The Life and Death of Bobby Z.



Bobby Z

Facts and Figures

Run time: 97 mins

In Theaters: Saturday 17th November 2007

Distributed by: MGM Home Entertainment

Production compaines: Millennium Films, Eclectic pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

IMDB: 5.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Matt Luber, Heidi Jo Markel, , Larry Schapiro, Peter Schlessel

Starring: as Tim Kearney, as Tad Gruzsa, as Bobby Z, as Duke, Richard Bairos as Drug dealer, Jarrod Bunch as Security Guard, as Surfer Girl, as Johnson, Gina-Raye Carter as Party girl, as Don Huertero, Paul Diaz as Felipe, Troy Brenna as Actor, Rebekah Chaney as Ashley, Adamo P. Cultraro as Monk's Boat Captain, as Brian Cervier, Rob Fleming as Prisoner, Carrie Fleshman as Server at party, Candace Elaine as Monk's bikini babe #2, as Boom Boom, Dax Garner as Aryan Brotherhood inmate, as Elizabeth

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

The Edge of Seventeen Movie Review

An unusually realistic teen movie, this drama gets deep under the skin of its characters,...

Bleed for This Movie Review

Bleed for This Movie Review

This is such a ripping true story that it can't help but grab hold of...

Moana Movie Review

Moana Movie Review

In a clear echo of Frozen, this Disney animated adventure centres on a fiercely independent...

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

The 2003 comedy Bad Santa is a holiday classic that skilfully mixes gross-out humour with...

Allied Movie Review

Allied Movie Review

There's a terrific script at the heart of this World War II thriller, with a...

A United Kingdom Movie Review

A United Kingdom Movie Review

Based on a powerful true story from the late 1940s, this drama is packed with...

Indignation Movie Review

Indignation Movie Review

Philip Roth's layered novels are a challenge for filmmakers (see also 2003's The Human Stain...

Advertisement
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

It's been five years since the last Harry Potter movie, and J.K. Rowling has been...

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Yet another bonkers thriller starring Nicolas Cage, this trashy crime comedy comes from director Paul...

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

"Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall" is a DVD...

Arrival Movie Review

Arrival Movie Review

This sci-fi drama has an enjoyably brain-bending plot that leaves the audience almost stunned with...

Elle Movie Review

Elle Movie Review

There's a boldly comical tone to this outrageous thriller that can't help but unnerve audiences...

100 Streets Movie Review

100 Streets Movie Review

A multi-strand drama set in London, this film is very nicely shot and acted, but...

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

It's been seven years since designer Tom Ford made a splash with his award-winning writing-directing...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.