I remember seeing the trailer for Gentleman Broncos and thinking it looked like something I really wanted to see. It appeared quirky, bizarre, funny, and oddball. Right up my alley. Then I found it was from director Jared Hess and written by Hess and his writing partner and wife Jerusha Hess. Now, if those names sound familiar, they should. They broke out back in 2004 with the hit Napoleon Dynamite. A few years later they turned Jack Black into a wrestler in Nacho Libre. Gentleman Broncos is the next in their run of films based on quirky characters and slightly off settings. Can they keep their streak of interest alive?
Sadly, I cannot recommend Gentleman Broncos. No, it is not the worst ever and if anyone tells you it is, well, don't believe them. There are a lot of movies, good and bad, and to call one the best or worst ever is just unnecessary. With this being true, Gentleman Broncos is far from the worst ever, but it is also far from being a good film. It has a lot of the right elements but the balance is off. The pieces fail to come together to make anything of interest and I was left thinking "well, that was weird," while not caring about any of it.
The biggest problem is that the thought process behind the movie felt that quirkiness could be used instead of heart and genuine character. So, as you watch the movie you will be introduced to character after character that is solely defined by their quirks. None of them feel real, none of them have heart, therefore there is no real reason to care about them or their journey. All you have with Gentleman Broncos are the odd scenes, strange sequences, and off-kilter atmosphere substituting for substance. It is a shame, as the basic idea behind the tale is a good one and could have been used to great effect to dig at the underbelly of Hollywood.