Adsense Large Leaderboard

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Run Ronnie Run (2002) - A Film That Torches Pretensions

The Ultimate Gross-Out Comedy

Run Ronnie Run poster

You will either love every minute of director Troy Miller's "Run Ronnie Run" (2002) from Burg/Koules Prouductions and New Line Cinema, or find yourself debating whether it is, indeed, the worst film ever made.  It's difficult to think of a middle ground. However, there is one thing about "Run Ronnie One" that is a sheer, timeless Hollywood classic:

Nikki Cox Run Ronnie Run bathing suit
This is your prime reason to watch this film. No, it's not the powder-blue suit.

"Run Ronnie Run" is a very loose re-working of Paddy Chayefsky's extremely literate and ground-breaking "Network" (1976), but that's probably completely coincidental, and fans drawn to this are highly unlikely to watch it because of any pretentious connections like that.

David Cross as Ronnie holding a beer can and looking stupid in Run Ronnie Run

Here's a question to ask yourself: does the idea of watching a dog eating someone's vomit off the sidewalk - not once, but repeatedly in the movie, as like a running gag - sound amusing?  Do you "get the joke"?  If so, this is the film for you!

Nikki Cox looking sexy in a tight-fitting gown that pushes up her breasts in Run Ronnie Run
Nikki Cox steals this film
Nikki Cox is at her absolute peak in this film, with the trademark Nikki flaunting of her figure and comic takes. I have a separate page with Nikki Cox pictures and trivia here.

Nikki Cox fire pit scene
Nice smile

This is a spin-off from the cult hit HBO series "Mr. Show". It follows Ronwell Quincy Dobbs (), who has a unique talent for getting arrested. Kind of a strange talent, but that is the "farce" part of the film, a put-down of what it takes to succeed in Hollywood by going the TV-reality-show route. The whole film is an early spoof of reality shows like "Survivor" (the actual parody shown, "Elimination Island," actually is pretty funny and really skewers what the whole idea of "Survivor" implies). 

Nikki Cox Pool scene

The film's scattershot aim, though, ranges far and wide.  What other film is going to find a way to spoof the Dick Van Dyke rooftop dance scene from "Mary Poppins"? A running gag is a newscaster who sounds suspiciously like the phony radio station guy in the "Vice City" video games popular during the early 2000s.  The screenwriters apparently were just putting down whatever came to mind, which gives the film a directionless feel and a lot of unexpected twists and turns.

David Cross as Ronnie eating and Bob Odenkirk as Terry Twillstein in Terry's office in Run Ronnie Run
Ronnie with Terry Twilstein

A British television personality (think "Home Shopping Network") looking for a gimmick, Terry Twillstein (), "discovers" Ronnie and brings him to Hollywood to star in his own TV show.  Ronnie must adapt to his new life, while longing for his ex-wife (Jill Talley) who he left back home.

Nikki Cox in profile in a tight gold top as the Beer Girl with the sun setting behind her and David Cross as Ronnie in Run Ronnie Run
Nikki Cox, LA at sunset - what could be finer?
There are celebrity cameos every few minutes by Mandy Patinkin, Sarah Silverman, Dave Foley, Jeff Goldblum, and Jack Black. One assumes they are all fans of "Mr. Show," and, of course, there are several appearances by characters from that show.

Ronnies's old friends back home in Run Ronnie Run
Ronnie's friends back home

This was shelved by New Line for several years, then quietly released on DVD. That usually isn't the mark of quality.  "Ronnie" gives "low-brow comedy" a whole new meaning.

David Cross as Ronnie with one of his stupid old friends in Run Ronnie Run
Ronnie with one of his home-town friends

TV star Nikki Cox inexplicably shows up in a bikini midway through in one of her few film roles. Now, Nikki Cox has had her ups and downs in life - no, I'm not making a snarky joke there - but when she was filming "Run Ronnie Run," she was most definitely in an "up" phase. In fact, it was one of the most "up" phases in celluloid history. Words do not describe the impact that a young, vivacious Nikki Cox has on screen, only pictures will suffice:

Nikki Cox pool scene Run Ronnie Run
The famous pool scene

Nikki plays Kayla the "beer girl." This was when she was still smokin' hot. Her appearance is greatly appreciated by all. She also, by the way, is quite talented as a comedienne. She gets to lay some of her dry wit and crooked grins down in "Run Ronnie Run," but you'll hardly notice.

David Cross as Ronnie running in his underwear chased by the police in Run Ronnie Run
Ronnie being chased by the police

There is a pool-party scene which encapsulates the tone.  Everyone (the scene is crowded with cameos from people like James Woods) fawns over the imbecile Ronnie because he has a hit show.  They allow him to be obnoxious because he is a success, and the celebrities themselves are as stupid as Ronnie's hometown white-trash friends.

Ronnie David Cross
Ronnie in his natural environment

It is a no-holds-barred parody of Hollywood aiming straight at the lowest common denominator.  Everything is spelled out as explicitly as humanly possible to show how "real" it all is.  A bizarre movie video stuck in the narrative may shock you.  As a parody of sexy videos, it allows the film to wallow in its own filth while artfully deconstructing what music videos are "really" saying.  As if we are dumb enough not to know that anyway. If there's a low point in this film, that's it.

Nikki Cox looking sexy in her bikini as the beer girl in Run Ronnie Run
More proof that Nikki Cox steals "Run Ronnie Run"
Nikki Cox leopard print bathing suit Run Ronnie Run

Of course, there are all sorts of pokes at various things, along with insightful comments that are made to sound as dumb as possible so that nobody is seen as "acting smart" or whatever. My favorite is Ronnie's "Eureka!" moment in the pool when he exclaims: "Jealousy: yeah! That's like womens' Kryptonite!"  

Nikki Cox leopard-print bikini
And here is some close-up proof that Nikki Cox steals "Run Ronnie Run"

If you like "fart-joke comedies" with a heavy dose of satire, this one fits the bill. Think "Joe Dirt," but more so. It is sort of an experimental film, to see how stupid you can make the characters and scenes and still draw an audience. It didn't work, but did pave the way for more polished attempts such as "The Hangover."

Nikki Cox looking sexy in a gold bikini in Run Ronnie Run
Nikki Cox steals this scene, too, by the way

This is an OK film if you just want to relax and watch characters who don't think at all, say stupid things, and act like the crudest of stereotypes.  The film loses its focus completely about two-thirds of the way through when a rival TV show (led by R. Lee Ermey of all people) seeks its revenge on Ronnie for stealing its ratings. By then, you probably won't much care. Nikki is gone by then anyway.

Nikki Cox smiling and showing her breasts in a tight gold top with flames behind her in Run Ronnie Run
Nikki Cox has a very well-framed entrance

There's a lot to be said for this film.  Nikki Cox says most of it.  If you want to see people acting as stupidly as possible, with a thin veneer of talent and insight just to remind us all that we really aren't as dumb as the people portrayed, you might have fun with it. Below is the trailer.


No comments:

Post a Comment