Gentlemen Broncos: Only Jemaine Clement Makes It Watchable

Nothing if not consistent, Napoleon Dynamite and Nacho Libre director Jared Hess once again presents adolescence as a depressive, outsider experience; makes light of the working class for being, well, poor; and nearly bests the Coen brothers when it comes to drawing all his characters from the shallow end of the gene pool. There are moments in Hess’ third self-conscious cult film, Gentlemen Broncos, that exude a fetishistic, lo-fi splendor, as Hess envisions the Buck Rogers–meets–Barbarella fantasy world of an introverted Utah teenager (Michael Angarano) writing a pulp science-fiction opus. But both Yeast Lords: The Bronco Years and the life of its author are subject to so much projectile vomit, animal flatulence, and innumerable plays on the word “anus” that even first-graders may find their tolerance tested. “You took my nads!” and “Eat the corn out of my crap” vie for their place in the catchphrase canon, and an animatronic deer fires missiles out of its ass, though it’s Flight of the Conchords‘ Jemaine Clement who handily steals the show as a bestselling fanboy scribe sky-high on his own pomposity. Hess deserves credit, I suppose, for so effectively channeling his inner 7-year-old. Personally, I preferred spending two hours in the company of Spike Jonze’s.