Film review: 'Adventure' tries but isn't a 'Napoleon'

Published: Friday, Oct. 23 2009 12:00 a.m. MDT

Ari Gold stars as Power in the film "Adventures of Power."

VarianceFilms/Grack Films

Enlarge photo»

ADVENTURES OF POWER — ★1/2 — Ari Gold, Michael McKean, Adrian Grenier; rated PG-13 (vulgarity, violence, slurs, profanity, brief drugs); Broadway Centre

The biggest difference between the title characters of the slacker doofus comedies "Napoleon Dynamite" and "Adventures of Power" is that the one shown in the latter movie also air-drums with his fingers and hands when he dances.

Oh, and there's at least one other big difference between the two movies: "Napoleon Dynamite" had a few things that made people laugh.

"Power" is a too-obvious knock-off of the 2004 hit that features few — if any — chuckles. And its attempts to become more serious in its second half are clumsy.

The film's penchant for dorky nostalgia — especially '70s and '80s-era music — quickly becomes irritating. It deserves a real tongue-lashing for trying to re-introduce the inexplicable Mr. Mister hit "Kyrie" into the American consciousness.

Ari Gold wrote, directed and stars as Power, a New Mexico miner who dreams of finding a use for his air-drumming "skills."

Unfortunately, Power's father, Harlan (Michael McKean), isn't as optimistic. So, the twentysomething runs away to Newark to follow his dreams.

Meanwhile, back in New Mexico, Harlan and his fellow miners have gone on strike. Their tyrannical boss, Dick Houston (Richard Fancy), is determined to break the strikers' resolve.

And it appears Houston's son, rock star Dallas (Adrian Grenier), may spoil Power's chance for winning a big air-drumming contest.

By the way, that is Helper, Utah, subbing for the fictional Lode, N.M., here.

And there are a lot of recognizable faces in the film. That includes supporting cast members Michael McKean and Fancy, as well as TV stars Jane Lynch ("Glee"), Shoshannah Stern ("Jericho") and Grenier (HBO's "Entourage"), who show up as Power's hippie aunt, would-be girlfriend and chief nemesis, respectively.

But Gold is just not funny. In fact, as Power he's so clueless and so smug that he's not sympathetic or likable in the slightest.

"Adventures of Power" is rated PG-13 and features some crude and suggestive language and references (slang, innuendo and song lyrics), some brief strong violent content (a mugging, beatings and rioting), slapstick pratfalls, derogatory language and slurs (some based on sexual orientation), scattered strong profanity and brief drug content (analgesics, pain relievers and supplements). Running time: 88 minutes.

e-mail: jeff@desnews.com

Get The Deseret News Everywhere

Subscribe

Mobile

RSS