I’m a big fan of Patton Oswalt, as much for his stand-up’s play with language and storytelling structure as for his ability to consistently pick quality projects — “The King of Queens” notwithstanding, because I never watched it regularly, I never saw him on it, and so can conveniently forget that even our heroes need a steady paycheck. (Otherwise, for what would we strive?) So, it strikes me as sufficiently weird that his next starring role will be playing brother to Johnny Knoxville in a movie that’s script was once entitled Scout Master. Seriously. Deadline reports that the now untitled comedy is about “battling brothers who attempt to honor their ailing father by taking a troop of boys on a camping trip.” They also add, quite unnecessarily that, “It all goes awry.”
I don’t really dislike Knoxville outside of his jackassery, but his biggest lead role in a “real” movie was arguably even more offensive to taste than “Jackass” or its film incarnations could ever be. That Maura Tierney (“Newsradio,” “ER,”), Rob Riggle, and Patrice O’Neal co-star are all equally positive and, yet, vaguely unhelpful notes in determining the script’s possible quality. Because, honestly, outside of Oswalt’s name, the entire thing sounds like it would make more sense as a Nick Swardson vehicle, or less awfully, a feature film take on that old Adam Sandler SNL sketch…
All the evidence, even and especially the circumstantial, mounts a case that maybe someone just didn’t tell Oswalt that all of his movies don’t have to be entitled as two-word character descriptors. Then again, Jesse Eisenberg did star in Adventureland and Zombieland in the same year, which proves nothing, really, I just like to bring that up whenever it’s even kind of apropos. Here’s hoping that the star of Ratatouille can still sniff out the Gouda from the bad. (Like that pun.)
Rob Payne also writes the indie comic The Unstoppable Force, co-hosts the internet radio show We’re Not Fanboys, and can be tweeted @RobOfWar over on the Twitter. He does not apologize for bad puns, because that’s just redundant.