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Review: 'The Bronze' Blu-ray nails it

Posted Wednesday, August 3, 2016 at 11:54 AM Central
Last updated Wednesday, August 3, 2016 at 11:55 AM Central

by John Couture

With the Summer Olympic Games opening up in Rio this week, the time is perfect to watch Melissa Rauch's raunchy Olympic sendup The Bronze. It's almost as though Sony Pictures Classic planned it that way (I'm pretty sure they did).

Of course, if your only exposure to Melissa Rauch is as the fireplug Bernadette in the TV series The Big Bang Theory, then you might want to prepare yourself. While she plays the sweet and scrumptious scientist on the long-running TV series, here she is a washed-up former gymnast still trading in on the glory of a bronze medal win many years ago. Oh, and things that come out of her mouth would surely make a sailor blush.

Thankfully, I can swear with the best of them and I always enjoy an actor or actress who isn't afraid to step outside of his or her comfort zone to challenge themselves and our expectations of them. Here, Rauch not only stars as Hope Ann Gregory, Bronze medal-winning gymnast from small-town Ohio, but she also shared screenwriting credit with her husband.

So yes, she literally put all of those salty words into her mouth and the movie is so much better because of it. She also wrote herself one of the most awe-inspiring sex scenes ever captured on film, but more on that in a moment.

Go for the Comic Gold

The Bronze is far from perfect and oftentimes it falls into many of the sports film clich├ęs, but it always makes a sterling comeback thanks to its superb cast. As mentioned Melissa Rauch is great as a washed-up gymnast who is forced to train the next potential Olympic star from her small town to gain an inheritance, but the rest of the cast is on their game as well.

The always underappreciated Gary Cole puts in some of his best work since Office Space as Hope's clueless mailman dad. His brand of goofiness is the perfect foil to Hope's self-centered narcissism, even if it's by accident. Cecily Strong is the next big thing from SNL now that her cast mate Kate McKinnon finally got her due thanks to Ghostbusters. Cecily has a small role, but she's able to insert plenty of laughs in her scenes.

Best Sex Ever

Before you get too excited Melissa Rauch has already revealed that the ambitious sex scene was executed by her Cirque du Soleil body double. And let's face it, the way the scene turns out, you would need to have someone professionally trained to execute it.

Apparently, in the script, it was simply described as "the most crazy epic gymnastic sex scene ever" and from the end result, I think they nailed it. No pun intended. Sure, in a movie such as this, it's easy to insert a gratuitous sex scene to move the needle, but this didn't feel like one of those at all. First, it served a real plot point and second, the execution of it could possibly be the high point of the film.

I know one thing, it's certainly the one scene in the movie that everyone talks about. It's such audacious and ridiculous, that I would probably rank it right up there with Crank and Team America: World Police in terms of crazy sex scenes. And the latter involved puppets! That's high praise indeed.

As if that sex scene alone wasn't enough, there is another vulgar masturbation scene involving Melissa Rauch that really proves that VHS still serves a purpose in this DVD/Blu-ray world. Among the bonus features, there is a deleted scene that must be seen to be believed.

At the end of the day, The Bronze doesn't try to reinvent the wheel, but it delivers a fair amount of laughs to be worth the investment. Melissa Rauch proves that she's able to play a more provocative character and that will only lead to more interesting roles once her run on The Big Bang Theory ends.

Also, she's demonstrated a serious knack for comedic writing and I look forward to her and her husband's next project. I went in hoping to get the next Drop Dead Gorgeous, and while it doesn't quite live up those high standards, The Bronze does deliver an interesting and funny take on the effect of sports success on small-town America.