Bobby Z

"Weak"

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

Captain America: Civil War Movie Review

Captain America: Civil War Movie Review

After the formulaic thrills of The Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron, Marvel's Avengers were...

Son of Saul Movie Review

Son of Saul Movie Review

From Hungary, this year's Oscar-winning foreign film is a remarkably fresh take on the Holocaust...

Demolition Movie Review

Demolition Movie Review

With its darkly emotive themes and brittle humour, this well-made drama by Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas...

Bastille Day Movie Review

Bastille Day Movie Review

An attempt to muscle in on Luc Besson's Taken-style of thriller, this is an odd...

Secret Cinema Presents: 28 Days Later Movie Review

Secret Cinema Presents: 28 Days Later Movie Review

Expectations are a problem with this year's Secret Cinema event. After the jaw-dropping, goosebump-inducing surprises...

Jane Got a Gun Movie Review

Jane Got a Gun Movie Review

With its grindingly low-key tension and unusual perspectives, this Western has a chance to revamp...

Criminal Movie Review

Criminal Movie Review

Almost criminally entertaining, this preposterous thriller mixes buckets of humour and emotion into the violent,...

Advertisement
The Jungle Book Movie Review

The Jungle Book Movie Review

Using remarkably photorealistic animation, this remake of the 1967 Disney classic is warm and enjoyable,...

Eye in the Sky Movie Review

Eye in the Sky Movie Review

Almost forensic in its approach, this smart thriller explores a drone strike from a variety...

Midnight Special Movie Review

Midnight Special Movie Review

Gifted director Jeff Nichols takes on another genre in his fourth film with actor Michael...

Boulevard Movie Review

Boulevard Movie Review

This dark, introspective drama hinges on one of Robin Williams' final film performances before his...

The Huntsman: Winter's War Movie Review

The Huntsman: Winter's War Movie Review

Aside from success at the box office, there was nothing about 2012's rather uneven fantasy...

Black Mountain Poets Movie Review

Black Mountain Poets Movie Review

It's fairly obvious that the cast and crew began making this film with only the...

Victoria Movie Review

Victoria Movie Review

One of the most breathtaking films of the year, this ambitious story shifts from a...

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.