Buddy Games – Film Review

Films don’t get much worse than Buddy Games.

Now, I am not some wowser that only likes ‘arthouse’ films. I will admit that there are some pretty juvenile films out there that I love and would happily sit down and laugh at like a teenager, such as films like Scary Movie or There’s Something About Mary and I would probably say that Not Another Teen Movie is probably one of my favourite films of all time. But having said all that – Buddy Games just takes the cake for me. This is a film so juvenile that honestly if I hadn’t been reviewing the film, I would have walked out and asked for a refund for my ticket.

Directed by Josh Duhamel in his directional debut, Buddy Games centres around six life-long friends – Shelly (Dan Bakkedahl – The Heat), Bender (Nick Swardson – Just Go With It), Doc (Kevin Dillon – Entourage), Durfy (Dax Shepherd – Hit And Run), Zane (James Roday Rodriguez – Gamer) and Bob (Josh DuhamelTransformers) who get together once a year for a ‘party’ and a series of games that sees one of them crowned as ‘King’. However, things go horribly wrong one year and after Shelly rubs in his dominance of the events, it becomes bullying of Bender and the result is Shelly being shot in the testicles by a paint ball while he is tea-bagging a victim.

Five years later, life is very different for Bob. He has sold his company for hundreds of millions of dollars and has started a relationship with the beautiful Tiffany (Olivia Munn – X-Men: Apocalypse). Suddenly, he gets a call out of the blue. Shelly has been depressed since he lost both of his testicles and the only way he will snap out of his suicidal state is if he something to live for again – the rebirth of the Buddy Games.

I don’t know how to be anything but brutally honest about this film. It is a lot worse than anything Adam Sandler or Kevin James has dreamed up. It is actually one of the worst films I have ever seen. Very few of the jokes ever land the way they are supposed and while you chuckle once or twice while watching the film, for the most part you are groaning and wishing the film would end.

There are few characters that you will actually like. I’ll admit that early on I had a bit of a soft spot for Bender but for some weird reason the script suddenly labels him the bad guy. Strange considering that as far as I am concerned, he could have mercilessly tortured Shelly for weeks before drowning him in the lake and I still would have thought that Shelly got what he deserved.

When I think of films like American Pie, I think of characters that start off juvenile and then grow as the film (or the franchise) goes on. That isn’t the case here – in fact at times it feels like these characters actually become more juvenile and stupid as the film plays out. There is no moral here other than the very stupid supposed message of ‘being a dickhead is cool’.

Buddy Games has very few redeeming qualities to it. In fact, as I walked away from the cinema, all I could think about was how could Duhamel, Munn and Shepard lower themselves to be in something so terrible.

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