The Comebacks (Unrated)

Parody movies are usually a hit (Scary Movie 1 and 2) or miss (Scary Movie 3 and 4) opportunity, that usually come off as either being lovingly tributary or downright mockeries of the films they’re trying to ape. The Comebacks, however, is a new low in the genre of monkey see, monkey mock, and one that will probably go down in history as the film that couldn’t even make a joke about Cuba Gooding Jr. in the movie Radio funny. In this humorless comedy, we find a slack lipped David Koechner (from Anchorman fame) cracking dick and fart jokes a mile a minute while the rest of the cast stands helplessly by, fumbling their way through a gauntlet of terrible jokes that never quite reach the mark. Honestly, folks, there really isn’t much else to say about this poorly put together football film that spoofs everything from Friday Night Lights to Bend It Like Beckham, other than that the few opportunities that this film does have of scoring a comic touchdown are intercepted as soon as they reach the screen, leading the viewer in the complete opposite direction of entertainment—straight down to comedy hell.

The story centers around a bumbling boob named Lambeau “Coach” Fields who’s so bad at coaching that all the greatest blunders in sports history are because of his reckless involvement. It really doesn’t matter which sport it was, if a joke could be pulled out of it, Coach Fields was probably a part of it. Calling baseball plays while doing a crossword puzzle? Check. Throwing a banana peel on a NASCAR track, causing a twelve car pile-up? Check. There’s really no limit to how absent minded Coach Fields could be.

Surprisingly, though, the beginning of The Comebacks actually has a lot of potential, as some of the earlier moments where we first get to meet Coach Fields are actually pretty funny in a goofball, he-can’t-be-that-dumb, kind of way. After the movie hits the five minute mark, it all goes down the toilet, both literally and figuratively (the final game of the movie actually takes place in a Championship game called, what else?-The Toilet Bowl).

Of course, being a terrible coach for a great deal of years has its repercussions, as Coach Fields currently finds himself jerking off farm animals to harvest their sperm for insemination. After a visit from another coach (Carl Weathers), who was a former partner of Coach Fields, he gets coaxed back into action and quits his day job to return to the game to lead a college football team known as The Comebacks to victory. Why a terrible coach like Coach Fields would get a plumb job like that, we don’t quite find out until the very end of the movie—if you stay that long—but rest assured, it’s eventually explained by the conclusion, though, not as well as you’d probably expect.

Along with Coach Fields’ lousy training is a team that’s just as terrible, to match his hellacious coaching. As you’d expect, the team is rounded out by the most blatantly stereotypical characters this side of a minstrel show. The Indian character is purely "pump your gas", Indian, and the Mexican is "straight from South Central" Mexican. While I know this movie is playing off of all those other crummy sports movies that play race to the extreme, the jokes in this film just fall flat when compared to infinitely better parody films like, Not Another Teenage Movie or Naked Gun (Coach Field’s daughter actually makes out with her black boyfriend in front of him to annoy him, because apparently, closeted racism is funny).

Also making an appearance in his very own little comeback, is Matthew Lawrence, who was last seen prominently fighting computer viruses in Superhuman Samurai Syber Squad. In this movie, he plays Lance Truman, the butterfingers quarterback who (of course) reaches glory and gets the girl (who’s also Coach Field’s daughter) at the end of the movie, which is exactly what you’d expect from such a color by numbers football flick.

If there’s one scene in particular that stands out in the movie (besides a character named iPod who’s supposed to be a cheesy imitation of Cuba Gooding Jr’s character in Radio getting smashed over the head with a booze bottle for no apparent reason), it’s a scene where Coach Fields plays Journey’s infamous, Sopranos’ ending song, “Don’t Stop Believing,” to boost his team’s morale. In this scene, it breaks into a schlocky music video that has all the characters rocking out and singing to the thoroughly unfunny song that made the Sopranos’ ending so poignant and memorable. Everyone is dancing and having a good time except Will Arnett, who looks as bored as bored could be, staring dead-eyed into the camera and saying, “Sha-dows Search-ing.” That expression alone says more about how much this movie sucks, than this entire review does. I guess that’s why he makes the big bucks, and I currently invest my savings in a shopping mall penny pond. Featured on this Unrated DVD are some very vulgar clips of deleted scenes so unfunny that they actually didn’t make it into the movie (which is saying a lot), a freestyle from hottie, Noureen DeWulf, and booty bouncing from the actor who plays iPod in the movie.

Sadly, if you were expecting something actually redeeming in the special features, you’d be sadly mistaken, as nothing here either adds to or enriches this shoddy excuse for a parody movie. Not even the director’s commentary, where he annoyingly cracks jokes about his name (it’s Tom Brady - yes, like the Patriots’ QB) and the fact that he’s drinking during the commentary. Dude, it’s been done before. Like, way many times before.

Also featured on the disc are improvised bits by some of the funniest stand-up guys doing horribly unfunny gags and then laughing at themselves, thinking that this wouldn’t possibly end up in the final cut of the movie. Too bad for DVD special features, eh guys? Add to the fact that there’s also a reel of Andy Dick acting like an ass for the camera and you have a DVD extras feature that’d probably be better off sacrificing to Satan for a far better film on DVD.

Very much like the movie itself, these special features are a waste-o-time.

Rich Knight
Content Producer

Rich is a Jersey boy, through and through. He graduated from Rutgers University (Go, R.U.!), and thinks the Garden State is the best state in the country. That said, he’ll take Chicago Deep Dish pizza over a New York slice any day of the week. Don’t hate. When he’s not watching his two kids, he’s usually working on a novel, watching vintage movies, or reading some obscure book.