When I started this, I never thought I would get to this point but here we are, 500 posts. This is my 500th post on this site. I’m not surprised that the post is of what I do best, movie reviews. This time, it is a review of a movie called “The Bronze”.
I know my most recent coming soon post said I was going to see this on Thursday but if you had followed me on Twitter (it’s okay if you don’t but you really should), I had tweeted that I was going to see it today.
I've got some extra free time on my hands so I'm seeing @TheBronzeMovie today. I'm not going to bother updating my coming soon post.
— Keith Noakes (@keithlovemovies) March 22, 2016
I suppose it doesn’t matter but I assure you that I have more than that to offer. Now onto my review!
Once a beloved celebrity who won an Olympic bronze medal in gymnastics while performing with a ruptured Achilles, Hope Ann Greggory (Melissa Rauch) is now a washed-up has-been relying on her past fame to get by. However, opportunity knocks when she is offered the chance to train a promising teenage gymnast named Maggie (Haley Lu Richardson) in exchange for a financial windfall. Greggory is soon torn between the money and her desire to remain the most famous person in her hometown.
Most of us know Rauch from her character Bernadette from The Big Bang Theory but I will just say right now that her character in this film is quite a departure from that. Primarily because of her character in this film, Hope Ann Greggory, this film is definitely suited for a much older audience. She is very crass, raunchy and has quite the foul mouth (more on that later).
The story here is about an Olympic bronze medal winning gymnast named Hope Ann Greggory (Rauch) who is now washed up and has been relying on her fame, much to the dismay of her father Stan (Gary Cole), to get by. An opportunity soon arises when she is offered the chance to coach an up-and-coming teenage gymnast named Maggie (Richardson) in exchange for an inheritance from her former coach. Greggory is faced with the dilemma when she is forced to choose between the money and her desire to hold on to her past glory.
Like I said before, Greggory is not the best person (at least at the start) but when a main character is not a great person, they still have to have some redeeming quality that makes you want to watch them. I usually don’t shy away from the crass and offensive stuff but I thought Greggory, at least at the start, was a little much. Her behavior just didn’t work for me as it just didn’t fit with the general tone of the film but I do admit that she got better as the film went on.
I thought the film got better when the film had a direction, when Greggory began coaching Maggie around a third of the way through the film. When the film was just Greggory, at the height of her crassitude, it just didn’t work for as I simply did not find her likeable. She only became likeable for me once she began training with Maggie and their gym co-owner’s son Ben (Thomas Middleditch).
Their scenes together were the best part of the film as there was great chemistry between the 3. Richardson’s Maggie was great as a sort of counter-balance to Rauch’s jadded and selfish Greggory thanks to her naive and hopeful personality and Ben was just a nice guy who sees the good in Greggory and wants what’s best for her. The training scenes were fun to watch but it seemed like Maggie already knew what she was doing and was just practicing. I thought the gymnastics scenes themselves were well done and shot. Either the actors were gymnasts or the gymnasts were actors.
The film also featured an interesting subplot involving Greggory and one of her former boyfriends, a former Olympic gold-medalist named Lance (Sebastian Stan) who is now a leader in women’s gymnastics. The banter between the two of them was one of the few funniest things in the whole film with the one of the few others being a later sequence between the two which I won’t spoil. I wish we could have known more about their relationship.
The film is advertised as a comedy but one of the problems I had with it was that I did not find it to be very funny. Sure those two things I mentioned before were funny but for the most part, it wasn’t funny. I thought this film worked much better at a gymnastics film and should be considered as such. I did like all the supporting characters but they just weren’t developed enough for me.
Overall, this film works as a sports movie and only moderately succeeds as a comedy. It is saved by good performances which elevate the source so-so source material.