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Mr. Woodcock

Billy Bob Thornton is barely breaking a sweat here, but his deadpan delivery adds comic heft to the rather predictable script.

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 In Craig Gillespie's comedy, a former weakling turned successful inspirational author (Seann William Scott) returns to his small hometown. But after discovering that his mom (Susan Sarandon) is engaged to his old nemesis, junior-high coach Mr. Woodcock (Billy Bob Thornton), he freaks out. Thornton is barely breaking a sweat here -- fans have already seen him play the biting cantankerous coach in two recent releases, School for Scoundrels and Bad News Bears -- but his deadpan delivery adds comic heft to the rather predictable script. Unfortunately Scott seems as ineffectual as the anemic character he plays, never digging for any emotion and energy to counter Thornton's jabs; it's like watching a cat toy with a mouse, knowing that the rodent will be spared only when the cat gets bored and pads away, smirking.

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