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Overall Rating

Worth A Look25.93%
Average: 3.7%
Pretty Bad: 22.22%
Total Crap: 22.22%

3 reviews, 9 user ratings

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Foot Fist Way, The
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by Erik Childress

"I’ll Take Fred Simmons Over Jeff Speakman Any Day."
4 stars

SCREENED AT THE 2006 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL: There have been a lot of quirky character comedies that I’ve seen in my years of covering film festivals. Napoleon Dynamite was the breakout cult film I predicted it would be and deservedly so. I’m still awaiting the day when more will get to see Blackballed: The Bobby Dukes Story (starring The Daily Show’s Rob Corddry as a disgraced paint ball player) or Brien Burrough’s Security, an improv feature about graveyard shift guards. All of these films had very specific brands of humor and featured memorable protagonists who seemed to work just outside the norm of common human behavior and yet endeared themselves to the audience. Tae Kwon Do instructor Fred Simmons should be welcomed into that list.

The self-proclaimed “King of the Demo”, Fred Simmons (Danny McBride) lives by the philosophy of his martial arts. He has a small, but dedicated dojo of students and other than them, lives for his comely wife, Suzie (Mary Jane Bostic). When she gets a job to help put food on the table the only ends that meet are hers and her boss’, a revelation that stirs his inner bully and outwardly begins affecting him and anyone in the path of his wrath.

Fred’s hero has always been B-movie martial arts champion, Chuck “The Truck” Wallace (Ben Best) and in a desperate attempt to boost his self-worth, a pair of students (Spencer Moreno & Carlos Lopez IV) and fellow Tae Kwon Do enthusiast, Mike (director Jody Hill) hit the road to convince The Truck to perform his own demo as a guest at the dojo. Unfortunately, things will get even more complicated when Chuck The Truck turns out to have gone the way of Steven Seagal, out of shape and hard partying, proving that all the answers may be found within Fred’s damaged psyche and he may be forced to start completely fresh.

McBride, reminding me a little of Kevin Heffernan’s Farva in Broken Lizard’s Super Troopers, goes all out for Fred to be as bizarrely loyal to his craft as possible. Picking on children in fight school may already be ingrained as a Kramer-ism, but it’s the outlandish sincerity with which McBride goes after them that gets more than just chuckles from us. Fred Simmons may be of questionable intellect and commits more to a mantra than his fellow human beings, but his neuroses are identifiable and even when he gets to throw some fists his vulnerability is childlike granting us even more cause to laugh at and with him.

McBride, Hill, Best and the others on display are clearly having fun with the material and with making the movie period. Sometimes it’s just that joy that spills into the audience which is nice to see after another year spent of mediocre comedies and anything with a National Lampoon label on it. The film’s funniest moment caught me at a loss of breath (partially helped by Park City altitude and a feverish run up Main St. to catch the screening), and at its best has other moments providing extended laughs, if not of the breathtaking variety. Even at only 87 minutes, The Foot Fist Way could stand a cutting of roughly 10 minutes to tighten up a few scenes that drag along, but like Napoleon or Bobby Dukes, character goes a long way. That and remembering Jeff Speakman enough to make a crack out of.

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originally posted: 01/31/06 10:13:53
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Sundance Film Festival For more in the 2006 Sundance Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

6/08/08 John Patricio Great fil, very funny 3 stars
6/07/08 Boop Really freakin' good. 4 stars
11/03/06 George Moacanin Brilliantly Funny 5 stars
2/13/06 Barry T hilarious! - see it now! 5 stars
2/05/06 Ron Drake Jr. AWESOME 5 stars
1/28/06 stimey007 My stomach still hurts from laughing so hard...ridiculous fun 5 stars
1/27/06 tle freakin' awesome 5 stars
1/24/06 paul hill well done, extremely funny in different way 5 stars
1/20/06 Fred Vegas Hilarious, good old inappropriate laughs. 5 stars
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  30-May-2008 (R)
  DVD: 23-Sep-2008


  DVD: 23-Sep-2008

Directed by
  Jody Hill

Written by
  Jody Hill
  Danny McBride
  Ben Best

  Danny McBride
  Mary Jane Bostic
  Ben Best
  Spencer Moreno
  Carlos Lopez IV
  Jody Hill

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