Misunderstood Movies Part III: Jared Hess’ “Gentlemen Broncos”

broncos-2-shot-670_optWe all have them, movies that we absolutely love and will defend to our dying day. Some people call them guilty pleasures, I call them movies misunderstood by the masses. You know, movies we love even more because we know how misunderstood they are to most everybody else on the planet. I’m talking about movies that you may be embarrassed to say you not only like, but think are absolutely brilliant when confronting the mass populace of differing opinions and the harsh words of many well respected critics.

Gentlemen Broncos is a perfect example of a movie that has been grossly misunderstood by both a large number of critics and general audiences alike. Follow the jump to see why I feel this movie has been so misunderstood.

Gentlemen Broncos – Director Jared Hess (2009)

2289fRottentomatoes Rating: Critic – 19%, Audience – 40% // IMDB Rating – 5.8

Yes, Gentlemen Broncos is almost an exact carbon-copy of Hess’ first film (in tone and style alone), Napoleon Dynamite, from the story’s simplicity to the opening title sequence, corky exaggerated characters, music, setting, costumes, and just in the overall way it was filmed. But since when has a director having his or her own style become such a bad thing?

And yes, many film-goers have been all too quick to compare this to Napoleon, hastily judging it as “not-as-good” or “crap”, but I urge you to give this story of a teenager who attends a fantasy writers’ convention only to discover his ideas have been stolen and published by his all-time favorite author its fair chance. If you enjoy small films with big hearts that do not take themselves too seriously, and you don’t get hung up on comparing a filmmaker’s current work with their previous output, than I don’t see how you could not enjoy this movie. The humor in Broncos is just as random and strange as in Dynamite, and at times even wonderfully bonkers. I don’t see how that can be seen as a bad thing?

I guess what it boils down to is Hess’ style is a unique one, and one that goes against convention, thus resulting in polarizing reactions. Either you love his films or you hate them. Guess which side I lean towards.

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Categories: Features, Reviews

2 Comments on “Misunderstood Movies Part III: Jared Hess’ “Gentlemen Broncos””

  1. Lawrence Chadbourne
    August 25, 2013 at 9:02 am #

    Adam: I just caught up with Napoleon Dynamite on DVD, and enjoyed, I’ll keep my eyes open for Gentlemen Broncos.

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