The Unbalanced Beam: Our Review of ‘The Bronze’

Posted in Movies, Theatrical by - March 20, 2016
The Unbalanced Beam: Our Review of ‘The Bronze’

You can only hold on to past glories for so long.

The Bronze is basically a foul mouthed gender reversal on Eastbound & Down and while it isn’t without some laughs it is mostly just a tired excuse at being foul for the sake of being foul as a small town hero gets taken down a peg.

It’s been a decade since Hope Ann Greggory (Melissa Rauch) made her way into America’s home’s as their new sweetheart when her gutsy gymnastic performance on a ruptured Achilles tendon earned her an unlikely bronze medal and glory to her home town of Amherst, Ohio.  Despite the years that have gone by, Hope hasn’t done much since then as she bleeds her fame dry for every drop she can get while doing little else.  She spends her days living in her dad’s (Gary Cole) basement, still wearing her Team USA outfit while milking her old teeny bopper image for as much free food and favors that she can get her hands on until fate intercedes.  Faced with the reality of getting a “real” job, she is forced into coaching Amherst’s next gymnastic prodigy (Haley Lu Richardson) with the hopes of receiving a large inheritance.  Hope is faced with the tough decision of maybe losing her hometown hero status as she sees that this kid has real talent, so does she sabotage this impressionable young girl or train her to heights that she herself never thought would be possible?


Co-written by Rauch herself, The Bronze does admittedly have a few moments where it manages to shine, but too much of it plays like a forced foul mouthed joke that is only occasionally funny as we get numb to the raunchy that they are trying to throw at the audience.

Director Brian Buckley makes the movie to features with somewhat of a shaky start as he can move a narrative along well enough, but it all and all it needed some serious trimming as this 108 minute movie could have easily been trimmed down to the 75-80 minute range as there were just too many jokes that landed flat and moments that dragged on far longer then they needed to.  The hallmark of efficiency this movie certainly it is not.  There is a movie here, but Buckley lets the material over ride his abilities as a storyteller because it just isn’t as funny as it thinks it is.

the-bronzeMelissa Rauch is more than OK as our foul mouthed heroine, but definitely needed someone to help refine and just make this movie more efficient.  The genuinely hilarious moments don’t out way the dull ones.  Gary Cole plays it surprisingly straight as her dad, while Sebastian Stan almost steals the film as her old gymnastic rival but it is all Rauch’s show, almost a little too much so.

While it’s good enough for Rauch to have a chance to break away from her breakout role as Bernadette on The Big Bang Theory, The Bronze is just an uneven movie that would have played a lot better with some serious editing to the point that it just might have been a better long form sketch for a show like Inside Amy Schumer or Broad City rather than force it into a feature length form.


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David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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