Plot: Hope (Melissa Rauch) was a world class gymnast, poised to bring home a gold medal, when she was injured during a dismount. But she refused to withdraw and even hobbled, she pushed ahead and won a bronze medal for her efforts. In the years since, she has lived off those glory days and her status as a local celebrity, as well as her father’s generous nature. She is a foul mouthed, ungrateful person, who steals mail, complains constantly, and masturbates to videos of herself back in her prime, so she is quite a colorful person. When her old coach kills herself, Hope soon receives a letter offering her a sizable inheritance if she will train a local girl who has shown immense talent. In desperate need of funds, she accepts the coaching position, but is torn when she realizes the new girl could steal all of her local hero thunder. Will she sabotage her student or push her to worldwide success?
Entertainment Value: I love the concept of The Bronze, as a trashy former medalist fails to follow up her success and instead, lives off her past and is fueled by bitterness and entitlement. Melissa Rauch has the lead and is spectacular, somehow being this horrible person doing all of this awful things, but she is still so cute and likable, even as she tries to ruin the lives of those around her. Rauch also cowrote the script and the movie is a great vehicle for her talents, as she carries this one and really shines in the role. She is joined by some good supporting players as well, such as Gary Cole, Sebastian Stan, and Cecily Strong, as well as others. I didn’t care for Thomas Middleditch’s bland effort here, but I thought Haley Lu Richardson’s naive, manic performance was an ideal foil for Rauch’s toxic persona. The humor is dark, profane, and sexual, but it is so sharp and outlandish, especially when it comes from the small, but fierce Hope. So if you’re easily offended, The Bronze will likely do just that, but for fans of darker, more wild humor, it hits some effective notes. I had a lot of fun with this one and anyone who appreciates dark, offbeat comedy should check out The Bronze.
There’s a memorable sex scene between two gymnasts, but clever light and shadow manipulation prevent any real sleaze from being seen. You think you see a lot, but in truth, just some very brief, non graphic skin flashes on screen. But it is a well crafted, very humorous, and inventive sequence, delivering a memorable dose of comedy in a creative fashion. I also love the scene where Hope diddles herself while she watches her bronze medal performance, even if there’s no nakedness involved. No blood. This one has no real violence, so no real chance for bloodshed comes up. The dialogue here is rapid fire, dark, profane, and hilarious. I love how explosive Hope is and how she goes from zero to “salt the earth” in mere seconds, going off on anyone and everyone who comes into contact with her. Rauch really nails the attitude and she has an almost endless parade of memorable lines here. The others have some good lines as well, but Hope runs this show. The colorful characters and sharp, ridiculous humor add some craziness, but it never goes totally off the rails or outside of the usual R rated comedy conventions.
Overall Insanity: 3/10