Projections - Movie Reviews

The New Guy The New Guy

At some point in life many, if not all of us, wonder about our situation in life.  In the grand scheme of things are we a bump in the road, a fly in the ointment or even a “blip” on the radar of life?  This is the basic thought behind The New Guy.

What is unfortunate is that the basic “blip” premise is not explored and the true life of teens in high school barely scratched.  Staring DJ Qualls (Road Trip) as senior Diz Harrison who has felt the wrath of his peers due to his skinny / dorky appearance.  This humiliation has been from the usual verbal abuse to being tied to a chair in a dress with huge fake rubber breasts attached for the school to see.  Survival in high school becomes impossible when an erection occurs and he is grabbed by the librarian only to have his manhood “broken".

After a couple of interesting pranks as an attempt to get expelled, Diz succeeds and actually ends up in jail.  It is here that Diz learns the rules of school survival from his cell mate Luther (Eddie Griffin).  After learning to do “crazy eyes” and changing his appearance and his school, Diz, now going by the name of Gil Harris, arrives via a prison van looking like a restrained Hannibal Lector.  Following the “plan” to get respect Diz, now Gil, takes out the biggest bad ass only to have no one see him do it.  Here the comedy takes on a physical nature and is very good as Gil drags the bully into an area to show he has knocked him out, only to have to end up pulling a fire alarm to get noticed.

From here, the film steals from other movies like Patten and Braveheart for glimpses of comedy, but the feel good nature of the film takes over and humor takes a back seat.  As in most teen films, the geek changes only to be discovered.  The geek changes those around him or her, but the jocks, in crowd or what ever you want to call the “elite” of the school never change and expose the change as fraud.  The geek gets the girl and school goes back to normal.

The New Guy has an odd cast of characters, Lyle Lovett as Gil's dad and cameos by Tony Hawk, Vanilla Ice, Gene Simmons, Tommy Lee and others - what a waste.  Actually, The New Guy is just that - a wasted opportunity.

Once again I look to Hollywood to answer a simple question: why don't you take the time to find or develop a story that will challenge the youth of America, one that might inspire them?  This dumbing of society has to end and this end has to begin without children.  Wake up Hollywood teens are a lot smarter than you give credit.  Teens today are the adults of just 15 years ago intellectually, emotionally and physically.  It is time to treat them not as teens but as young adults, humans who like to rise to the call, reach for the brass ring and have the same assortment of films available that “adults” enjoy: drama, sci-fi, comedy and all the other film styles.

The New Guy

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