Released: 7th January
Seen: 2nd August
Gross out comedy is one of the more difficult kinds of comedy to pull off. Done right it can be absolutely hysterical, films like the influential Pink Flamingos or the 90s monster hit American Pie prove how good this subgenre can be. However, if done wrong (and oh god is it often done wrong) then you just get a disgusting film with nothing really redeeming about it beyond maybe a few performances here or there.
…So, Buddy Games is a disgusting film with nothing really redeeming about it beyond maybe a few performances here or there.
Buddy Games tells the story of a bunch of friends who meet up regularly to take part in something known as the Buddy Games, a series of stupid contests that mean pretty much nothing because the prize is a bucket with their name carved on it. At one of these contests, Shelly (Dan Bakkedahl) wins and ends up getting shot in the balls with a paintball during the celebration which leads to both of his testicles being removed and the games being cancelled.
Cut to 5 years later and Shelly is a complete wreck so Bob (Josh Duhamel), an obscenely rich guy who the gang of friends calls “The Bobfather” decides to revive the Buddy Games in an attempt to rekindle their old friendship that had apparently completely ended after Shelly lost his balls. So, the entire gang gets together to compete in another Buddy Games with a prize pool of $150K that Bob put up. The group of friends will have to learn the value of friendship and maybe even learn how to make a movie that’s worth watching.
From the minute Buddy Games starts you can almost feel that it’s going to hurt, the first 5 minutes are so bloodless in terms of jokes that it sets you up for the hour and a half of nothing that’s about to follow. Every couple of minutes you can see a joke setup happen, maybe even a potential for humor but nope, there’s nothing there. I hope you enjoy laughing at the concept of balls or pooping because that’s the bulk of the jokes here. I’m of course using the term “Jokes” here about as liberally as it’s possible to use it because there wasn’t a single moment where anything happened that got a laugh out of me.
I’m sure that the guys making Buddy Games had fun together, they got paid to go to a cabin in the woods and do stupid human tricks so I’m sure it was a very fun shoot but that doesn’t translate into a fun film. If anything it makes the audience feel like that one sober guy at a frat party full of drunk assholes, everyone else might be having fun but they’re certainly not fun to watch. None of this is fun to watch, every scene makes you beg for someone to just accidentally crack a half decent joke.
What really sucks is that I know most of this cast can be funny… I mean, I’m still waiting to figure out if Dax Shepard and Nick Swardson have the ability to be funny cos I’ve never laughed at either one of them, but I know for a fact Josh Duhamel, Kevin Dillon, James Roday Rodriguez and Dan Bakkedahl can be funny because I’ve seen them do it. They all have the potential to be funny when given the right material but they don’t even have material to work with, they have trash and can’t even make it enjoyable.
One of the big sins of Buddy Games is how it basically relegates most of the actual games to a crappy montage except for the last 3 big parts of the competition, one of which involves the boys drinking laxatives and trying to pick someone up at a bar before they shit themselves… a joke that is somehow simultaneously horrifically disgusting and tame as shit because they don’t even have the decency to just projectile fire shit out one of the main actors, just put a lot of fart noises in post and hope that’ll count as a gag. You’re clearly trying to go for gross out comedy, maybe try being gross to the point of it being comedic?
OK, I will admit that there is one moment in Buddy Games where it’s possible to actually laugh at the events on screen, like an actual joke somehow slipped through the cracks… granted it’s when Olivia Munn turns up to kick everyone in the face and my laughter was derisive because I had been hoping that every character would get kicked in the face but still, it’s a laugh.
Look, Buddy Games is just awful. I don’t know what else to tell you, it’s an unfunny uninteresting bland mess of a film that wastes the talent that signed on and can’t even be bothered to have a single joke worth remembering. It’s pathetic, abysmal, nothing short of a complete disaster in cinematic form. I would rather watch a compilation of horrific accidents that take place during the Olympics than sit through this film again because at least that compilation might include moments of something impressive happening.