The New Guy

It seems that Hollywood’s obsession with teen comedy flicks keeps on going. The genre can be downright hilarious and with an excuse of having immature characters behaving in outrageous situations so it’s not surprising that these types of films are churned out at a regular rate. The latest offering is The New Guy staring DJ Qualls (who incidentally is not a DJ).

Dizzy Gillespie Harrison (DJ Qualls) is a complete and total geek of the nth degree. He’s picked on and bullied by almost everyone at his school and as a result hangs out with three other kids, who are marginally less geeky than himself.

One day, after a particular unpleasant incident, Dizzy manages to humiliate himself one time too many in front of the school and ends up in prison (why prison? No idea really, seems a tad harsh). Luckily for Dizzy he is soon taken under the wing of Luthor (Eddie Griffin) a local convict. Luthor decides to teach Dizzy the fine art of being cool and having the right attitude to be a feared hard man.

Having learnt all the posturing and attitude that he needs, Dizzy returns back to education, but not to his old school. He starts at a new school where he reinvents himself as Gil Harris. Super cool and surrounded by an awe of mystery, he becomes an instant hit. Being the new guy on the block, Gil also soon asserts himself as a tough guy and gains the interest of the ladies.

Gil starts dating the lead cheerleader, Danielle (Eliza Dushku), bests the school bullies and also manages to inspire the football team into a winning streak. Being the most popular and toughest guy in school was always one of Dizzy’s dreams and now as Gil he finally achieves it. But what would happen if someone realised that Gil wasn’t always Gil?

The New Guy is a film of a film of a film that as been made before – it has nothing new really. Loser becomes popular and then transforms the crap school into something great. It’s the same teen movie that has been made time and time again, just with different types of people.

The humour in The New Guy isn’t clever or witty, it is just plain stupid. For example, whilst trying to be cool and playing with a lighter Gil manages to set fire to the school statue, then the girls are so stupid that they fail to notice the fire and assume that it’s Gil who’s getting them hot and excited.

Performances are standard run of the mill teen comedy style. DJ Qualls, best known as the geek from Road Trip, is charming enough as Dizzy and with his gangly frame is likeable and seems to be enjoying himself. He also looks like he is the biological son of Lyle Lovette who plays his father – it’s a little creepy. Eliza Dushku is in danger of typecasting herself in the slutty roles she seems to pick. Her irrelevant bikini modelling scene is purely stuck into the film to appeal to the teenage boys in the audience (and some older ones too). Eddie Griffin’s role is little more than an extended cameo and he raises the most laughs (which explains his predominance in the trailer).

Somehow a host of washed-out celebrities have managed to secure themselves cameo roles. Amongst the more interesting ones are Vanilla Ice, Gene Simmons, Tony Hawk, Tommy Lee and Henry Rollins. The others include David Hasselhoff and Jerry O’Connell.

Overall The New Guy manages to produce a couple of laughs, but the film on the whole is a retread of other teen films. It’s nice to have films like this as it makes you appreciate better films a lot more.

Score 4/10