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Buddy Games (2020)::rating::0.5::rating::0.5

Imagine if toxic masculinity was a tangible object, and you could set it in the soft Bermuda of someone’s backyard. Now grab a shovel and dig until you hit the sewer lines. That’s where Buddy Games belongs. Unfunny in execution, gnarled and hideous in spirit, this might be worst movie I’ve yet reviewed for this site. And when we live in world with Serenity, Cats, and Jexi, that should tell you everything you need to know. With that said, let’s head out to the backyard, but I’ll warn you: It’s real stinky.

The plot of Buddy Games is the pinnacle of stupid simplicity: A gang of middle-aged, intellectually underpowered bro-bros, still chasing the ultimate frat-house kegger, assembles every year for the Buddy Games, a kind of douchebag olympiad. They deep-throat corndogs and thwack each other in the go-nards with paintballs, until one of these sweaty, barking Cro Magnons hoists up a trophy. Somebody wins, but mainly everybody loses. Including humanity.

As the film begins, there is no joy in Turdville. You see, the latest Buddy Games has been a bit of a dud. Everybody’s a bit more tense this year, a bit more squabbly. Things come to a head when one of the bros plunks another bro in the bare testicle with a paintball, destroying both balls in the process. That’s a serious party foul, dude. (And if you’ve always wanted to see a slo-mo shot of a paintball splattering against someone’s nutsack, this movie is happy to oblige.) This puts our heroes into full pout-pout mode, and they go home to sulk, minus one nard.

Now, let’s take a look at these walking, talking venereal diseases, shall we? The Alpha of these ding-a-lings is Bob (Josh Duhamel), who seems to have it all: Bob’s made a fortune in some kinda business–and they might have specified, I spent 20% of this movie staring at my cuticles–and has a big ol’ house, replete with a full bar that looks a lot like the ones they have at Applebee’s. He has a gorgeous wife (Olivia Munn), who inexplicably tolerates that her husband is a few McNuggets shy of a combo meal. Unfortunately–for him and us–Bob can’t accept the bounty that life has given him, and he feels compelled to reassemble his Dipshit Avengers and try and find the old magic again.

As for the rest of these low-rent horndogs, they’re really only distinguishable because they’re being played by different actors with different dad-bods: There’s a talentless actor (Dax Shepherd), a talentless doctor (Kevin Dillon), the obnoxious dude with one testicle (Dan Bakkedahl), a dude who probably has two testicles (Nick Swarsdon), and……I think maybe a couple others. I’m not sure. Are light purple half-moons above your cuticles a sign of good health? Just asking for a friend.

Anyway, it goes without saying that the Bob Squad gets back together and they slog through the Buddy Games one more time. My dear, sweet readers, I won’t lie to you: It’s some tough sledding. The characters barf, fart, and cry their way through the next sixty minutes of movie. And I’m honestly not sure if it’s more tortuous for them or us. If you must watch–Sweet Jesus on a midnight hayride, don’t watch this movie–check out the demeaning, misogynistic scene where the bro-bros chug laxatives in a dive bar and attempt to pick up women. The sight of a bunch of grown men, damp with sweat, ass cheeks clenched tight, trying to slow dance and not shit their britches–it’s honestly surreal.

If you go back and look my reviews of bad movies, you’ll see that I often try to say something nice. It’s kind of a palate cleanser–a nice sorbet. (“The acting and directing are straight from the bowels of hell, but everyone’s sideburns look incredibly even.”) I’m trying–straining–to come up with something, but…zippo. I suppose the only good thing about this withering saga of bullies and jerkwads is that it eventually ends. You can mentally bury it in the backyard where it belongs. Just make sure you don’t dig too deep.

90 min. R.



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