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Role Models

By Al Shipley | Posted 11/12/2008

Wheeler (Seann William Scott) and Danny (Paul Rudd) are two grown men stuck in a dead-end job, selling a heinous energy drink called Minotaur to high school students. And when Danny goes off the deep end and lands them both in hot water, a community-service sentence gives them the opportunity to lead children further astray, as part of a sketchy "big brother" program run by a former drug addict (Jane Lynch). Stifler, er, Wheeler's charge is Ronnie (Bobb'e J. Thompson), a foul-mouthed black kid, and Danny's is Augie (Chistopher Mintz-Plasse), a cape-wearing outcast, and while the mishaps that ensue are fairly predictable, the whole cast gamely wrings laughs out of the formulaic storyline. Rudd, finally in a lead role worthy of his comic talents, co-wrote Role Models, and deftly balances his character's droll wordplay with Scott's horn-dog antics, but it's Lynch who consistently steals every scene she's in, with increasingly bizarre and detailed anecdotes from her sordid past. And director David Wain saves the best for last, letting Augie's pet obsession, a Medieval-themed role-playing game, build to a climactic battle, filming nerds wielding cardboard swords as if it were an action scene straight out of Braveheart.

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