Its those things you find right as you give up and are leaving Best Buy that make Saturday nights special...

Finding myself back in the suburbs of my youth this weekend without the companionship of my lovely wife, I, almost immediately, undid all of the training she has struggled to put me thru and reverted right back to my pre-wedding self. To those of you unfamiliar with me, that means I hung out with my friend TJ, found a terrible movie to watch, and gorged on 7-11 snacks and wasted a Saturday night. This is pretty much how I spent most every Saturday night from teenager to adulthood, and damn did I miss it.

On the menu for tonight was an impulse purchase, a DVD I happened upon while leaving the local Best Buy called FDR: American Badass!, and with a name like that, I would be a terrible person if I didn't buy it. Funny, after years of playing the Saturday night game, and a bookcase full of random, oft times terrible, DVDs, I still haven't learned that I shouldn't buy a movie simply because it seems like a good premise. It never works out well for me. Ever.

Got a good feeling about this one, but just in case, find me another kid, maybe in a redhead this time.

So here we are, with a movie staring the mayor from Spin City as FDR, who, and I must stress I am not making any of this up, is attacked by a werewolf, which gives him polio, and then finds out that werewolves are starting World War 2, so he flies in and blows them all away with a machine-gun encrusted wheelchair. Now tell me, how could a movie like this possibly fail? Or work? Well, surprise, surprise, surprise, it didn't really do either, choosing instead to fall upon the summit of Mount Average in the Mediocrity Peaks.

You know, I say that as though it is a give-in that FDR: American Badass! would be terrible, but that isn't really the case. There is a really, really strong collection of actors in this film, although none of which, save Kevin Sorbo are really "name brand" actors, but rather those guys you see and go, "Hey! Its that guy who played God on that episode of Quantum Leap that made my cat kill himself."

That's right religious right, God was that dude from Animal House. Deal with it.

The comedy is raunchy, and racist, and massively, massively modern day, which on occasion does manage to hit its mark. However, overall, the jokes fall flatter than the real FDR on a treadmill. Wow, that was terrible, I am sorry. Really, the only consistently funny character in the film was the guy who made it's bit part of a southern gentleman with a drinking problem and an open relationship with his wife. There is a scene, and I will not give away the dialog, where he fights a werewolf that makes the whole movie worthwhile. It is no exaggeration to say that I missed several lines of dialog following that scene due to unbridled laughter.

However those moments are the exception, not the rule, and the total film that is FDR: American Badass! finds itself in a terrible state. Despite its overt racism (the Japanese Werewolf especially) and its raunchy humor, it never finds itself as bad as one of the many, many Wayans Brother parodies out there, but at the same time it never makes itself as funny as other silly project films out there such as Kung Pow and Black Dynamite (I recognize that those films are also homage pieces, but at their hearts they are premise films, where some one said, "Wouldn't it be cool if we did this" and the movie followed, much like this one). Because it neither soars nor falls, FDR: American Badass! is remarkably forgettable, with only a few, toss away scenes that are anywhere near worth remembering. Except of course for Ross Patterson's scenes, those are absolute gold.

Grade: C

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