The Foot Fist Way ***
Directed by Jody Hill
"The Foot Fist Way" is a massively independent comedy, loaded with dirty jokes and perhaps one of the most oddly unlikable characters we may ever come across. And after finding its way around the comedy circuit for the last two years or so, the familiar names of Will Ferrell and Adam McKay have finally helped bring it to theatres, in a very limited release but still a step up nonetheless. And it also has given Danny McBride a chance to work with all of them in other projects-and sure enough he has popped up in a few comedies of late including "Drillbit Taylor," "Hot Rod," and two others from this summer "Pineapple Express" and "Tropic Thunder." But what can be said about this one? Well, for one thing it is quite funny, although certainly not for everyones tastes. McBride plays Fred Simmons, a karate instructor who certainly believes that he is immortal among man. After Simmons wife Suzie ends up cheating on him with her boss, he ends up reevaluating himself. He also begins a quest to bring Chuck "The Truck" Wallace, an action movie star who he worships, to one of the demos at his dojo.
"The Foot Fist Way" is very loose on plot-shot with shaky handheld camera and probably with several non-professionals. What makes McBride successful as Fred is that he really does find a middle ground between being such an immoral jerk, and at the same time allowing us to sympathize with him. We can understand why his wife would sleep around him, but at the same time when she does it stings a bit. And aside from that, improved or not, some of the lines here are just hilarious. Between Fred's musings about life, to his massive ego, to the way he treats some of the kids in his class (including his young assistant Julio), just really worked with my funny bone. This is far from a perfect comedy (at only 85 minutes, it begin to wear thin and overstay its welcome towards the end), but with its low budget roots and the fact that it is actually funny makes me happy that it found a home, however underground and cultish that home would be. But thats the place for it, really.