Hauled in by the cops following a rampant energy juice bender, Danny (Paul Rudd) and Wheeler (a mercifully restrained Seann William Scott) are sentenced to 150 hours of community service in the company of two troubled kids: hyperactive, foul-mouthed ten-year-old Ronnie (Bobb’e J Thompson) and role-playing Dungeons & Dragons nerd Augie (Christopher ‘McLovin’’ Mintz-Plasse). The usual hi-jinks ensue, before everyone learns and grows and hugs, and Rudd sings a song.
So far, so predictable. But who cares when the script is tight, the jokes clever and numerous, the characters rounded and likeable and the soundtrack studded with ’70s rock classics? Added value comes in the form of some spectacularly off-the-wall cameo appearances, most notably Jane Lynch in another brittle, worrying performance as an ex-cokehead turned protector of children.
‘Role Models’ isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel, just polish it up a little. What emerges is a memorable slice of modern slapstick, with charm to spare and just a touch of soul.