In the red-band trailer for The Foot Fist Way (caution: NSFW), we are told that the film was slipped to comedian Will Ferrell and writer/director Adam McKay and that they loved it so much, they wanted to share it with the rest of us. It’s easy to see why. Danny McBride as the sloe-eyed, drawling Tae Kwon Do instructor Fred Simmons falls perfectly in line with the string of over-confident, vulgar and ultimately clueless jocks Ferrell has played over the years in movies like Talladega Nights, Blades of Glory and Semi-Pro. Clearly they have found a kindred spirit in McBride.

I took Ferrell and McKay’s recommendation of this film at face value. I assumed if they are quoting it constantly (as the trailer says) that I would enjoy it immensely, considering the amount of time I waste quoting their movies.

That said, there isn’t much to The Foot Fist Way that I thought was overwhelmingly hilarious. A funny turn of the phrase here or there, but nothing so wickedly funny that I could see myself repeating over and over again. Frankly, I found McBride funnier and more effective in the movies he’s had small roles in this year – both Pineapple Express and Tropic Thunder.

Nathan Lee of The New York Times called The Foot Fist Way “The best thing of its kind since Napoleon Dynamite.” That’s not an accurate assessment. I’m thinking that Mr. Lee remembered the “Rex Kwan Do” scenes with Diedrich Bader and went for an easy comparison.

The Foot Fist Way is shot more in the mock-umentary style and does a fair job of depicting the fabricated rigors of Tae Kwon Do from the perspective of those that take the sport seriously. As a student of the practice for three years (brown belt, second degree, bitches!), a lot of it rang true. Bowing to the flag, bowing to the senior student, the flailing arms of uncoordinated children and the woefully mis-matched sparring exercises. But the movie is never weird for the sake of it like Napoleon Dynamite is.

Instead, the movie plays more like a calling card for McBride because it showcases him almost entirely. The supporting cast is 100% amatuer hour, leaving very little for McBride to work with beyond someone staring at him in disbelief over the “outrageous” things he says. The problem is, McBride as Simmons isn’t so much outrageous as he is deluded.

Sporting an unfortunate crew cut, mustache and a pair of jean shorts, McBride infuses Simmons with the kind of misplaced confidence normally reserved for cops who used to be jocks and who now flex their authority over others. Simmons berates children, constantly exposes the weakness or lack of self-confidence in others and is generally creepy and unpleasant to be around. You don’t feel particularly bad for him when his wife cheats on him or when his action-star hero Chuck “The Truck” Wallace turns out to be a jerk.

Of course Simmons finds redemption in the third act, but he doesn’t exactly become a better person. All he manages to do is reclaim the power and control that has been slowly stripped away from him during the course of the movie. For a character whose self-confidence is paramount, that’s the most he can ask for.

Extras are plentiful on this DVD. It features a DVD commentary track from the actors and writers, more than two dozen deleted scenes, a couple of blown takes and an alternate ending that will shock you. A behind-the-scenes featurette plays more like an extended music video shot in grainy Super-8. But otherwise, the extras do not disappoint.

The Foot Fist Way was an accomplishment in the sense that it brought a new comedic voice to the fore with Danny McBride. So far, I think we’ve only seen a fraction of what he can do. But don’t look to this movie as the be-all, end-all of quotable sports doofus comedies like it was advertised. Approach it with reasonable expectations and you’ll find it a harmless diversion.

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Theater Hopper reviews The Foot Fist Way on DVD.