Let me give you one of my hard won life lessons: Never, ever be alone in a room with more than one of the following at a time: an underage girl, drugs, a firearm, or a video camera. Trust me, it just won’t end well. Mmmmm…ON THE OTHER HAND, those just might be the ingredients for a fairly gripping television show.
Of course one really great show was “Mr. Show”, the one true bastard American child of “Monty Python’s Flying Circus”. Having run their course on HBO, the show’s perpetrators, stars/writers David Cross and Bob Odenkirk and segment director Troy Miller have now transported their disturbing little shenanigans to the big screen.
“Run, Ronnie, Run!” follows the adventures of Georgia white trash loser Ronnie Dobbs (Cross) and failed inventor/infomercial impresario Terry Twillstein (Odenkirk). Ronnie is a simple man (some might say an idiot) with very simple desires. He only wants to have a good time and marry the love of his life, Tammy (Jill Talley). Unfortunately, Dobbs’ idea of a good time generally involves large quantities of beer, destruction of property, and high-speed police chases which usually end in a night in jail. This presents a bit of a dilemma to Tammy, who has no reason to believe marriage will alter Ronnie’s behavior. After all, she’s already married three times and had three of his children (all, of course, named Ronnie).
Meanwhile in Hollywood, Terry Twillstein is living down the failure of his latest invention, where just the shooting of the infomercial resulted in a freak death. While pondering his next course of action, Terry is distracted by tape of a “COPS” -like program his crew is watching where none other than Ronnie Dobbs is once again drunk and getting arrested after yet another absurd display of behavior. Having appeared on the show more than any other moron, Dobbs has, by now, accrued quite the cult following. Inspiration ensues, and soon Terry takes Ronnie out of Georgia and into his own network show, “Ronnie Dobbs Gets Arrested”. Every week, Ronnie goes to a different city and does something incredibly stupid to get arrested. Of course it’s a hit. However, as Tammy won’t marry him until he stops getting into trouble with the law, what’s a poor drunken idiot to do?
At this point, little of the plot really matters as it’s just an excuse for a wide variety of jokes both new and familiar to viewers of “Mr. Show”. Highlights include parodies of “Survivor”, music videos for movies, the end credits for Jackie Chan films, and what can only be describes as vicious send-ups of celebrity cameos. Mandy Patinkin and Jack Black each star in their own pants-pissing funny musical numbers. Figuratively and literally, Cross and Odenkirk throw everything they can against (or through) the wall and not everything sticks. Enough does, though, to make “Run, Ronnie, Run” probably the funniest film we’ll see all year. No, this isn’t going to be for everyone, and if you didn’t like the original show, you’ll probably hate this too. For everyone else, this is the one comedy in ’02 you can’t miss.