Length: 107 minutes
Director: Tom Brady (No, not the Tom Brady) (The Animal)
Writers: Ed Yeager (“Dharma and Greg”; “Reba”) and Joey Gutierrez (“Married with Children”; “Yes, Dear”)
Starring: David Koechner, Melora Hardin, Matthew Lawrence, Will Arnett, Dax Shepard, Carl Weathers, Andy Dick, Brooke Nevin, Dennis Rodman, Frank Caliendo, Kerri Kinney, Drew Lachey, Bill Buckner, Eric Dickerson, Michael Irvin, Lawrence Taylor, Nick Searcy, Eric Christian Olsen, John Salley, Chris Rose. Holmes Osborne
No one watches a movie like “The Comebacks” and expects greatness. Nobody. None of the people that signed on to do this movie expected greatness. So why still make it? Because the parody genre refuses to die. Everyone seems to forget that in the history of the “movie spoof” genre there have only been a (literally) handful of movies even worth mentioning- the last being 2001’s “Wet Hot American Summer” (which really is above the genre if you think about it). The recent “Epic Movie” and “Date Movie” haven’t exactly added to the cause and I’m sure “Meet the Spartans” was just as bad. But, I suppose the real question here is not why they are still making these movies, but why am I still watching them? Well, that’s a good question. I should be watching “La Vie En Rose” or “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” or one of the dozens of movies I still need to watch before I can make my official Top Ten of 2007 list (as March of 2008 nears. I’m never on time). Instead I popped in “The Comebacks”. I suppose the real reason is because I loved “Airplane!” and “Kentucky Fried Movie” and truthfully I’ve seen “The Naked Gun” and the “Hot Shots!” movies more than a few times. Every now and then- like those zombie movies- you get lucky. “The Comebacks” did not make me feel lucky. Did I laugh a few times? I did. That’s a step up from “Epic” and “Date”, but to be completely honest with you I just finished the movie and I’m having trouble remembering the parts I laughed at. David Koechner (Anchorman) stars as Coach Lambeau Fields (ha ha- get it?)- the losing-est coach in sports history (he caused the horrid Bill Buckner World Series blunder amongst others). His old friend, Freddie (Carl Weathers), talks him back into the game to coach a team of rag-tag misfits called, you got it, “The Comebacks”. Everything from “Stick It” to “Field to Dreams” to the more recent “Gridiron Gang” and “Invincible” get spoofed along the way. Unfortunately, like “Epic” and “Date Movie”, this movie has the bad habit of spelling out the jokes for it’s audience. For example, the “star” player of the team arrives in a limo for practice, steps out and announces to everyone something along the lines of, “I’m the star player and it’s all about me! I’m going to realize though that it takes team work to really win when it counts”, etc. The movie thinks just because it points out the cliché that that’s enough for the joke. “The Naked Gun” worked because it pointed out the cliché and ran with it- it made us realize why it was funny and then made it something to laugh at. Movies like “The Comebacks” point them out and then kind of smirk about them instead. Where’s the fun in that?