The Comebacks

There’s almost no point in reviewing The Comebacks, it’s everything you’d expect it to be. No surprises, no curveballs, just a standard minimum-effort parody movie in the vein of Scary Movie, Date Movie, and Epic Movie. They should have named this one Sports Movie and kept the chain going. With each iteration of these genre parody flicks the jokes keep getting weaker and weaker. The Comebacks resorts to lame, PG-13 sexual-innuendo jokes a little faster than the others, but you know the drill.

David Koechner stars as Coach Lambau Fields, a big, fat, balding loser who takes over a team of misfits and attempts to lead them to a championship by butchering recent sports movie clichés. For the most part The Comebacks avoids referencing any sports movie more than ten years old, presumably because they realize their target audience doesn’t exactly have a long memory. So the jokes must be obvious, they must be easy, and they beat you over the head with each of them to make sure you can’t miss the places where you’re supposed to laugh.

Sadly, no one in the audience will laugh and the movie goes off the rails to stop parodying sports movies and starts parodying sports parody movies. Because presumably it’s easier to write jokes that someone else has already written. Did we really need to redo the best parody scenes from Dodgeball? Weren’t they already funny the first time? What, is Koechner so brilliant he can actually make them funnier? Maybe I should have laughed.

Instead of wasting time talking about a waste of time movie, let’s talk about the waste of time career of David Koechner, who has somehow managed to parlay being kicked off SNL and a series of glorified cameos into the lead role in a dubiously produced, debatably major Hollywood feature film. How does this guy keep getting paychecks? He’s a one-note comedic actor, who shows up in movies to provide an obligatory, cartoonish, redneck character. He has three items in his comedic arsenal: A protruding belly, a bald head, and a weird way of talking from the side of his mouth. Is that funny? Maybe in a sixty second cameo, but I hated having to sit through nearly ninety minutes of him.

The Comebacks is directed by Tom Brady, who has absolutely nothing to do with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, but it might as well have been him. That could have been funnier. Does a movie like this even need a director? Perhaps they use him to carry props. He certainly had nothing to do with making it funny, since it’s not. It isn’t even much of a sports parody. Most of the jokes are phallic puns or obvious (but not too offensive!) sex gags that really have nothing to with football, baseball, or anything else. The film is composed entirely of gags you might have come up with your friends on a lazy Saturday afternoon drinking beer your basement. It’s funny there, but it’s not funny when you’re sober and you’ve just paid ten dollars for a movie you could have re-enacted for free while getting drunk with your buddies and dodging your wife.