Review: 3 Geezers!

The mockumentary setup indicates that this is all meant to be taken as an exercise in Hollywood-insider rib-nudging, but the proceedings rarely rise to the occasion.

3 Geezers!
Photo: Gravitas Ventures

In 3 Geezers!, J.K. Simmons plays J. Kimball, an actor researching an upcoming movie role that will have him playing an 85-year-old, a task he approaches by visiting the residents of the Coconuts Convalescent Home with his video camera and a small film crew in tow. There, he discovers that the elderly are less fogeys solemnly awaiting death than they are uninhibited frat boys (and girls) living it up in their golden years, and it isn’t long before the spry jokesters are getting pulled over for a breathalyzer test or using their mobility scooters to chase down young girls. The film’s self-aware mockumentary setup—from Simmons essentially playing a version of himself (his character’s surname is an alternate spelling of his middle name, Kimble) to the weird parallels drawn between the makers of 3 Geezers! (Simmons’s wife, Michelle Schumacher, directed the film, and his brother-in-law, Randle Schumacher, co-wrote the screenplay) and the makers of the fictitious script within the movie, Do Not Resuscitate (written by Kimball’s unnamed brother-in-law)—indicates that this is all meant to be taken as an exercise in self-deprecating rib-nudging, though the proceedings rarely rise to the occasion.

To the film’s credit, this approach is a creative one that makes the material easier to swallow, but it doesn’t change the fact that this is basically a single joke on repeat for a stretched-out 80 minutes, and whether it’s funny or well told is eventually beside the point. Frequently, the unprofessional production values—calling to mind a more user-friendly version of the aggressively piecemeal Tim & Eric—are funnier than the gags themselves (such as a poorly edited shot of Kimball getting pelted in the groin with a tennis ball, which unfortunately invites comparisons to a classic Simpsons gag in the process), and if this slipshod showing of the threads was intentional, it’s all the more unfortunate that it wasn’t carried to greater extremes. Such as it is, there are some laughs, many of them courtesy of Bernard (Lou Beatty Jr.), a cheeky blind black man with a disregard for political correctness and a potent sex drive, but despite a small parade of Hollywood cameos (stick around during the credits to see Sam Raimi pretending to flip his shit) and such images as a dance floor full of elderly men sporting Viagra-induced hard-ons, 3 Geezers! is too calculated in its raunchiness to be more than sporadically amusing.

 Cast: J.K. Simmons, Basil Hoffman, Lou Beatty Jr., Anthony Cummings, Tim Allen, Mike O'Malley, Kevin Pollak, Scott Caan, Randy Couture, Sam Raimi, Breckin Meyer, Fernanda Romero  Director: Michelle Schumacher  Screenwriter: Randle Schumacher, Eric Radzan, Michelle Schumacher  Distributor: Gravitas Ventures  Running Time: 81 min  Rating: NR  Year: 2013  Buy: Video

Rob Humanick

Rob Humanick is the projection manager at the Mahoning Drive-In Theater in Lehighton, Pennsylvania.

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