Teen comedies have reached a new low. Just when you think they can't possibly get any dumber, can't possibly get any cheesier, can't possibly get any more cliché, The New Guy comes along and blows everything else away.
DJ Qualls, the skinny guy from Road Trip, stars as an unpopular nerd who thrives for something more. He gets his chance when he is expelled from school and put in prison for a short time (how he gets put in prison is beyond me), allowing him to suddenly becoming menacing. Yeah. Anyway, he arrives at a new school and all of the students, including lead cheerleader Eliza Dushku (Bring it On), think he is the greatest for some reason or another, although I know that when I was in high school I definitely wouldn't have been too impressed with a guy that was in jail, especially one as scrawny and homely as Qualls. If there is a plot, that is it.
Basically, The New Guy makes no sense. A compilation of a bunch of random scenes, it jumps all over the place, putting Qualls in prison, even though if anything he would have only wound up in jail - maybe the screenwriter doesn't know the difference - and other various things that don't have any place in a teen comedy. The prison storyline, though, really throws away any chances The New Guy had of having any quality, since the whole movie is based around it. But, of course, this is a teen comedy - Hollywood just assumes that we aren't intelligent enough to figure out the flaws.
Teen comedies must also not need good acting, according to Hollywood. DJ Qualls was pretty funny as the nerdy supporting cast member, but does he work as a lead? No. He doesn't have the looks to draw in the female crowd, and, as seen here, he doesn't have the acting talent to carry a movie. In fact, pretty much every actor in the film is God-awful, save maybe Eliza Dushku, who, although may be able to distract at least the male audience somewhat with her features, is a lot more convincing than anyone else in the movie.
To make things worse, The New Guy really isn't that funny. I laughed a lot, but only because it was so damned awful. How anyone could sit down in the editing room and put together something like this without wanting to shoot themselves is beyond me. If I had been in that room, all but one scene would have wound up on the floor.
And what is that one scene? Being a guy, it is quite obvious. Eliza Dushku, the only intelligible actor in the whole film, does a nice like bikini show for us. It is quite impressive, and almost worth the thirty minutes of movie before it. Almost.
The New Guy is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. If you're one of those people that get laughs out of really terrible films, this one is yours. For the other ninety-eight percent of the world, stay clear.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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