THE BROTHERS SOLOMON
** (out of 5)
September 7, 2007
Will Arnett as JOHN SOLOMON
Will Forte as DEAN SOLOMON
Chi McBride as JAMES
Kristen Wiig as JANINE
Malin Akerman as TARA
Lee Majors as ED SOLOMON
Directed by: Bob Odenkirk
BY KEVIN CARR
Listen to Kevin’s radio review…
A common misconception among filmgoers is that Bob Odenkirk is related to Steve Oedekerk. That’s too bad for Bob because he has put together some very funny things, including the cult HBO hit “Mr. Show.” Steve is a hack whose body of work (with the rare exception of “Jimmy Neutron”) completely sucks.
But just because Bob isn’t Steve’s brother doesn’t mean he’s not capable of making crap. Of course, the pile of crap known as “The Brothers Solomon” wasn’t just his fault. It was made with a little help from a script by SNL performer (and misplaced star) Will Forte.
It’s not that “The Brothers Solomon” doesn’t have talented people working on it. In fact, it’s loaded with talent. I have been hoping for a good Will Arnett vehicle since he stole the show in “Blades of Glory” earlier this year. Alas, this isn’t a good vehicle for anyone.
Arnett is funny in isolated scenes, and he acts his hear out, trying to pull the dead albatross of a film along. However, he’s fighting a losing battle. It would be best for his career for this film to be forgotten.
We’ve seen this before in Hollywood. It seems that the phrase “The sum of the parts is greater than the whole” could be a slogan for the industry. While Arnett gives it his all (as does co-stars Chi McBride and Kristen Wiig), it’s not enough to salvage a woefully inept script.
The film tells the story of two dorky and poorly socialized brothers. Their father raised them at the North Pole and home-schooled them, which explains heir inability to interact with normal society. When their father slips into a coma, the brothers decide to step up their efforts to give him a grandson to carry on the Solomon name.
The only problem is that John and Dead Solomon are clueless around women. But that doesn’t stop them from trying to score. Eventually, they find a woman who is willing to be a surrogate mother.
The plot leads us through several films at once. First, it’s a screwball comedy of goofy middle-aged men who are trying to get laid. Then, it dances close to a romantic comedy. Then it tries its hand at being a heartwarming baby-making story.
At no point does the film succeed in these endeavors. To make matters worse, all the good baby-on-board jokes were gobbled up by “Knocked Up” earlier this summer, which makes the pivotal climax to “The Brothers Solomon” nothing more than a cheap rip-off.
Unlike “Knocked Up,” “The Brothers Solomon” doesn’t take advantage of its R rating. With only a smattering of off-color humor, most of the offensive material comes from bad language – and most of that comes from Chi McBride. I can’t imaging it was worth sacrificing a slightly more profitable PG-13 ratings just for the sake of a couple f-bombs. It makes me wonder who was the executive in charge of rolling this out to theaters.
I can’t say I didn’t laugh at some points of the film. In fact, there were a decent amount of funny moments. However, they were scattered throughout the film, often either at odds with another joke, or something the filmmakers stretched out so much that it lost its ability to be funny.
This miscarriage of a movie feels more like a overly long SNL skit that never knows when to end. I guess that was to be expected.