When’s it out?
World’s Greatest Dad is available on DVD from January 31st.
Who’s in it?
Robin Williams, Daryl Sabara, Alexie Gilmore and Henry Simmons
What’s it about?
Lance Clayton, an almost catatonically depressed high-school poetry teacher – played by Robin Williams in a wonderfully shrewd and devious performance – is busy living his largely uneventful life in the home that he shares with his abusive and anti-social teenage son (Sabara – perfect) when tragedy suddenly strikes. After a series of bizarre events occur in the aftermath of this terrible accident, Lance comes to the realisation that his worst nightmare may have just turned into his ultimate fantasy. Because it’s structured much more like a thriller than a knockabout comedy – with genuine shocks and surprises never too far away – there are so many spoilers involved in discussing its plot that you’re far better off just going in blind.
What’s it like?
Very much like director Bobcat Goldthwait’s first film – the criminally under-seen indie gem Sleeping Dogs – his second is a rambunctious cauldron that features a mass of innumerable disparate genre elements, the sheer wildness of which should have rendered it either exasperating or just plain unwatchable. Somehow it’s neither, and the fact that the only thing we can compare it to is the director’s solitary other film, deservedly stands as a perfect indication of how thoroughly unusual it is… as well as marking its director out as a definite filmmaker to watch.
Star of the show?
A terrific ensemble, the entire cast are excellent without exception, with a sure-footed Goldthwait orchestrating everything with an expert touch; but the real kudos simply has to go to Robin Williams. After spending the best part of a decade cowering away from any comedy that could have been deemed even remotely edgy, World’s Greatest Dad sees him back on the kind of sly form that made him so appealing in the first place.
It’s difficult to select one because World’s Great Dad is genuinely full of them, and you almost certainly won’t see any of them coming. Arguably the biggest comes early. We won’t spoil it.
There is a brilliant sequence in which Robin Williams’ character breaks down into uncontrollable laughter, during a moment that can only be referred to as heinously inappropriate. In any normal film that featured a lead character as cryptic as Lance, this would be the scene in which we are ushered towards finally make our minds up about him. Here, that moment never comes, and it’s to the film’s massive compliment.
World’s Greatest Dad is a cleverly written, delicately performed and thoroughly unique piece of work, that’ll make you laugh as frequently as it’ll surprise you. A rather low-key cinematic release meant that it quietly passed way too many people by last year. You’d be mad to let it get by you again though, because this is terrific stuff, and potentially something of a future classic.
Hit or miss?
A highly unusual and highly recommended hit.
To be in with a chance of winning a copy of World’s Greatest Dad on DVD, simply answer the following question in the comments section below…..
What job does Lance Clayton have? Is he:
a) A University Lecturer
b) A Photo-lab Technician
c) A High School Poetry Teacher
Watch the trailer for World’s Greatest Dad here: