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New Guy, The

Reviewed By Chris Parry
Posted 09/04/02 08:47:23

"It's Revenge of the Nerds, only not as good. Not nearly as good."
2 stars (Pretty Bad)

When you hear the word 'nerd' in relation to movies, what do you think of? If you've ever seen a nerd movie, you undoubtedly think of the geek becoming the hero of the school by using their brains, a little deception, and their unquenchable desire to get a litle ass. Welcome to the New Guy, same as the old guy, and every guy before him.

There's basically two parts to this movie - DJ Qualls getting his ass kicked and duly returning ass kickings, and Eliza Dushku trying on swimsuits. Be warned, the movie is a four star affair for the five minutes dushku is showing her navel, but drifts perilously down the ratings board before and after.

DJ Qualls is Dizzy, a rather unnerving looking geek. Through a freak encounter with a prisoner in the big house (Eddie Griffin, who is admittedly funny), Dizzy learns how to be a bad ass, goes to a new school and sheds his geek skin to become a paler, skinnier, less easy to look at James Dean. Comedy ensues, or at least it's supposed to. In reality, there's very little comedy present that would get more than a snicker out of anyone above the age of fourteen. The few genuine laughs that are on offer make you feel so guilty for taking part that you generally won't.

So back to the story, though you can probably fill in the blanks yourself if you ever saw Revenge of the Nerds or anything of it's ilk, Dizzy becomes king of the new school, gets the mondo gorgeous girl to throw herself at him, and within minutes manages to make the new school become some sort of suburban utopia where everyone, geek, jock and midget, gets on famously. In reality, this scene is about as likely as the next great gay filmmaker coming from Afghanistan, but let's not get too tied up with expectations on a film starring someone called "DJ Qualls."

BUT DON'T ASSUME THIS IS THE BEGINNING OF A BUTT-KICKING! Despite the film's limitations in both planning and execution, there are some flashes of genuine humor here. Perhaps it's merely because I've seen Blue Crush, Master of Disguise, Serving Sara, and Pluto Nash in the last few days, but The New Guy really doesn't stink anywhere near as much as it could have. It's generally a painless experience that, while far from being great and enduring some bizarrely simplistic scripting and scenarios, for the most part is harmless crap. Credit where it's due, at least (unlike Blue Crush) it didn't pretend to be anything but.

Like the lamest of sports movies, The New Guy manages to engage in every cliche, throw scenes at you that you see coming a mile away, and yet at the end you walk away with a smirk. It's far from cinema at its finest, and it never really bothers to aim higher than the groin, but did I mention Eliza Dushku tries on a variety of swimsuits?

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