Run Ronnie Run

on January 31, 2002 by Jon Alon Walz
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The brilliant stars of HBO's “Mr. Show” bring their beautifully twisted and incisively cynical minds to the telling of the not-so-true-story of Ronnie Dobbs, a white-trash miscreant turned all-American media darling.

“Run Ronnie Run” opens with a cute animated “buy snacks in the lobby” spoof that quickly turns perverted, followed by a short introduction by a scholarly fellow in glasses and a bow-tie reading a hilarious warning about the nasty content in the film to come. Quickly we are introduced to Ronnie Dobbs (David Cross), a Georgia slacker who gets his biggest thrill in life terrorizing his neighbors and wagering on whether he can make dogs eat vomit. One of Ronnie's late-night hell-raising incidents--which included busting up a “Piggly Wiggly” sign--is captured by a “Cops”-like program, which in turn is seen by burned-out cooking show producer Terry Twillstein (Bob Odenkirk), a man at the end of his career and at the end of his mind. Seeing Ronnie's “real” life as the next great reality television series, Terry flies out to Georgia to give Ronnie the pretentious Hollywood pitch, which, of course, means “diddly-squat” to Ronnie--he doesn't have a clue what Terry is saying to him most of the time.

Signing Ronnie up for the Hollywood dream, Terry creates a show that follows the shirtless reprobate around from city to city to city as he causes trouble, burns things and robs people's homes. The show is, of course, a national sensation, sending Ronnie into the ranks of the Hollywood elite. He holds fabulous pool parties with the likes of Ben Stiller, Jack Black, John Stamos and Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, who beg Ronnie to “come over and rob us sometime.”

Although rich and successful, is Ronnie happy? Of course not. When the real-life model from the 7-11 cardboard standup beer advertisement Ronnie has been obsessed with for years shows up to his pool party (where his white-trash pick-up line, “I need to write you a prescription for a hot beef injection,” actually works), Ronnie has something resembling an epiphany, realizing that his real life is back in Georgia where his three- or four-time wife/ex-wife is waiting for a fourth or fifth marriage proposal.

Other wonderful episodic events occur, including Terry's turning the show into a Broadway musical starring Mandy Patinkin, and Ronnie's unexpected turn on Death Row, where he gets to do martial arts stunts like the guys in “The Matrix.”

Director Troy Miller and the “Mr. Show” creative team of David Cross and Bob Odenkirk have actualized the kind of classic social satire romp that has been missing from the bigscreen for a long time. Starring David Cross, Bob Odenkirk, Jill Talley, Tom Kenny, David Koechner and Jack Black. Written by David Cross, Bob Odenkirk, Scott Aukerman, BJ Porter and Brian Posehn. Directed by Troy Miller. Produced by Mark Burg, Oren Koules, Carl Mazzocone, Troy Miller and Tom Sherren. A New Line release. Comedy. Not yet rated. Running time: 86 min.

Tags: Starring David Cross, Bob Odenkirk, Jill Talley, Tom Kenny, David Koechner and Jack Black. Written by David Cross, Scott Aukerman, BJ Porter and Brian Posehn. Directed by Troy Miller. Produced by Mark Burg, Oren Koules, Carl Mazzocone, Troy Miller, Tom Sherren, New Line, Comedy
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