|Directed by||Steven Brill|
|Music by||Christophe Beck|
|Distributed by||Paramount Pictures|
|Box office||$49.7 million|
Drillbit Taylor is a 2008 American coming-of-age comedy film directed by Steven Brill, produced by Judd Apatow, Susan Arnold and Donna Arkoff Roth with screenplay by Kristofor Brown and Seth Rogen based on an original story by John Hughes (his final film work before his death in 2009). In the film, three high school pupils decide to hire an adult bodyguard to protect them from a bully who endlessly harasses and abuses them.
Drillbit Taylor was released by Paramount Pictures on March 21, 2008. Upon release, the film received mixed reviews, with criticism directed mainly toward the screenwriting, the direction and the mean-spirited nature, but praised the humor, Wilson's performance and the chemistry between the cast.
On the first day of high school, freshmen Wade and Ryan witness bullies Filkins and Ronnie attack a geek, Emmit, stuffing him into his locker. Wade intervenes, so the two begin endlessly targeting Wade, Ryan and Emmit. Emmit also befriends the duo, much to Ryan's dismay. The principal is unable to do anything because Filkins is an emancipated minor whose parents are in Hong Kong.
Wade suggests hiring a bodyguard. They place an ad on the Internet, and after a series of disturbing interviews with ex-cons and hired guns, they end up selecting Drillbit Taylor. Drillbit pretends to be a martial arts expert and mercenary but is really a homeless beggar. His real intention of becoming their bodyguard was to rob them and use the money to buy a ticket to Canada.
Drillbit suggests they find some common interests with Filkins and Ronnie. Ryan challenges Filkins to a rap battle but gets carried away and ends up unintentionally humiliating him. So, an angry Filkins, alongside Ronnie, ambushes the trio. Trying out a tactic Drillbit taught them ultimately fails. The boys are furious with his teachings. But they decide to bring him to school as a substitute teacher, and in that capacity he is able to protect them. While there, Drillbit meets a teacher, Lisa Zachey, and they start a sexual relationship.
One morning as his mother is driving him to school, Ronnie sees Drillbit showering at the beach; his mother reveals that he is homeless; she is one of many he asks for money frequently. Filkins finds the boys and punches Drillbit. Later, at Wade's, they catch Drillbit's homeless friends stealing everything in sight. Drillbit confesses that his real name is Bob; he went AWOL from the U.S. Army and his name was Drillbit because he hurt his pinky finger in high school with a drillbit.
The boys fire Drillbit, who later recovers all of Wade's possessions and places them back before Wade's parents return home. Unfortunately, the boys accidentally let the truth slip about Drillbit. Their parents take things up with the principal, who contacts the police. Filkins plays innocent and charms all the adults; Filkins continues to ridicule the boys after Drillbit's disappearance. Tensions finally burst when Filkins interrupts Wade's attempt to ask out his crush, Brooke Nguyen. Without thinking, Wade challenges Filkins to a fight. After Ryan insults Emmit, he refuses to help them.
Wade and Ryan arrive at Filkins' house, where he is hosting a party; initially, the duo knock him down, but he soon overpowers them with Ronnie. Emmit, who has a change of heart, comes to their aid and for a while causes quite a lot of pain to Filkins, almost defeating him; but Ronnie knocks him out while he is trying to break Filkins' leg.
Drillbit shows up and Filkins punches him. Drillbit refuses to fight back until it is revealed Filkins is 18, thus no longer a minor. Hearing this, Drillbit quickly begins fighting to defend the freshmen. He doesn't attack Ronnie when he reveals he's only 17. Within minutes, the police arrive and Drillbit flees for fear of prosecution. Filkins then throws a samurai sword at the boys in retaliation, but Drillbit comes back and catches it, saving them--at the cost of half of his pinkie. When they interview him, Ronnie reveals to the police that Filkins had bullied him into being his accomplice.
Filkins is arrested and shipped off to Hong Kong with his parents as an alternative to being sent to prison for breaking several underage drinking laws. Wade, with renewed confidence, asks Brooke out and she accepts, while Ryan finally accepts Emmit and declares him a friend.
Drillbit is taken to jail for desertion, but he ends up being released within three weeks. He is reunited with Lisa and the boys and is soon employed at their school as a nurse. A post-credits scene shows a student entering the nurse's office telling Drillbit he received bruises from being beaten up. Drillbit then asks him for the name of the student, assuring he'll be safer from then on.
In addition, Valerie Tian plays Brooke, the girl Wade is sweet on, while cameo appearances include standup comics Kevin Hart and Lisa Lampanelli, the film's director, Steven Brill, and "bodyguard candidates" that include Israeli Defence Force martial arts expert and Israel's Heavyweight Full Contact Champion Amir Perets, UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Chuck Liddell, and Adam Baldwin, who makes a dismissive reference to the plot of his 1980 film My Bodyguard.
Marketing for the movie included television promos and coming attractions previews, but actor Owen Wilson did not conduct any interviews to promote the film. Instead, Paramount Pictures had Wilson record introductions for Fox's Sunday night primetime shows such as The Simpsons, American Dad!, King of the Hill, Family Guy, and Unhitched. The character of Drillbit was also featured as a "Superstar" on the RAW page of WWE.com for a period of time. Wilson's publicist said his availability was limited due to filming Marley & Me.
John Horn and Gina Piccalo of the Los Angeles Times wrote that the reason for Wilson's limited promotional schedule was due to studio executives being worried that interviewers would bring up Wilson's hospitalization for severe depression in the summer of 2007.
In its opening weekend, the film grossed $10.2 million in 3,056 theaters in the United States and Canada, ranking #4 at the box office. The film has grossed $32,862,104 in the United States and $16,828,521 in other countries adding to a total worldwide gross of $49,690,625.
On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 26% based on reviews from 4.5/10 critics, with an average rating of 4.5/10. The site's consensus states: "Owen Wilson's charms can't save Drillbit Taylor, an unfunny, overly familiar bullied-teen comedy." On Metacritic the film has a score of 41 out of 100 based on reviews from 31 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences surveyed by CinemaScore gave the film a grade B on scale of A to F.
- "Drillbit Taylor (12A)". British Board of Film Classification. February 4, 2008. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
- John Horn and Gina Piccalo (March 20, 2008). "Owen Wilson sits out 'Drillbit Taylor' promotion". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 23, 2008. Retrieved March 20, 2008.
- "Drillbit Taylor (2008) - Weekend Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. Amazon.com. Retrieved March 24, 2008.
- "Drillbit Taylor". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
- "Drillbit Taylor". Metacritic. Fandom, Inc. Retrieved April 12, 2022.
- "Cinemascore". Archived from the original on December 20, 2018. Retrieved August 30, 2019.
- My Bodyguard - 1980 film with a similar premise