Aside from a few laugh-out-loud one-liners and answering the age-old question of what gymnastics sex must be like, “The Bronze” fails to place. A vile script destroys everyone and everything in its mad dash down the runway towards the gymnastics vault. Russian judges couldn’t be swayed to give “The Bronze” high marks.
– Patrick King, REEL BRIEF
Sitcom star (“The Big Bang Theory”) and comedian Melissa Rauch scorches the road to competitive gymnastics in this profane story of a small town hero turned pompous underachiever. A bronze medalist in 2004 despite suffering a career-ending injury, Rauch’s vulgar Hope Ann Greggory character has earned celebrity status living with her father in Amherst, Ohio. Well, that is, until a newer, younger and more wholesome gymnast begins to gain fame training down the street. It’s here that “The Bronze” really showcases its competitive juices for the movie audience judges.
Advertised as a comedy, “The Bronze” not only misses the mark on its sustained laughs routine but, in all fairness, should’ve been disqualified for unsportsmanlike conduct following the first floor exercise. Offered a chance to help the fledging, up-and-coming gymnast Maggie Townsend (perfectly played by Phoenix’s own Haley Lu Richardson), Hope resorts to sabotage rather than to choose to share the limelight with another local star.
This film degrades athletes with a toxic look at a washed up has-been unwilling to let go of her past success. Even worse, it propels the notion of an athlete’s sense of entitlement and willingness to throw down the victim card once they’re treated no different from anyone else. Suffering a severe case of failure to launch, Hope is unwilling to lift a hand in her home or extend an arm towards a fellow competitor…until she’s motivated enough by greed.
Missing the perfect chance to earn gold with a pay-it-forward storyline, “The Bronze” turns in a mediocre exercise routine consisting of hardcore put-downs which lose their effectiveness after each new scene. This singular, almost stand-up comedy approach does little to earn Hope’s sympathy from viewers. Even the movie’s brightest star–Richardson’s endearing naïve Maggie–gets her image sullied before the ending credits roll.
Aside from a few laugh-out-loud one-liners and answering the age-old question of what gymnastics sex must be like, “The Bronze” fails to place. A vial script destroys everyone and everything in its mad dash down the runway towards the gymnastics vault. Russian judges couldn’t be swayed to give “The Bronze” high marks. Barely watchable, wait for this movie to hit the Redbox rental stands this summer if you really need to see leotards fly through the air. Or better yet, save your time and money for this week’s premiere of “Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice”.
“The Bronze” is rated R for strong sexual content, graphic nudity, language throughout and some drug use. Its running time is 1 hour and 44 minutes.
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