Son of Rambow (2007)

(On DVD, April 2011) I was probably expecting a bit too much of this one.  Son of Rambow got great reviews and good word of mouth, but ultimately remains a kind of film that doesn’t really do much for me: a coming-of-age adventure in filmmaking featuring an irritating pair of characters and a love of making movies that feels more self-centered than infectious.  When a flamboyant minor character takes over the film to a degree that feels as if the movie should revolve around him, it’s a sign that the main attraction isn’t working.  Son of Rambow feels unpolished, scattered and even unpleasant at times: the gags play on nostalgia for the early eighties and a particular affection for the first Rambo film, neither of which I have in abundant quantities.  What remains is a tepid comedy, sometimes enlivened by welcome cinematic flights of fancy.  I suspect that Son of Rambow will strike a deeper chord with other viewers, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s a bit of a snoozer.  The DVD supplements, including a making-of and an audio commentary track in which everyone and everything is brilliant or excellent, don’t do anything to make the film feel any better.

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