Movie Review: Walton Goggins is a Ford spokesmodel and SUV legend, “John Bronco”

The cleverest thing about the laugh-every-two-minutes comedy “John Bronco” is that nobody involved tried to stretch this extended sketch of an idea into feature film length.

It’s just 38 minutes of everybody’s favorite vice principal, Walton Goggins, he-man drawling, preening and cussing through a mockumentary about a rodeo cowboy and spokesmodel so butch Ford named the Bronco after him.

Goggins (TV’s “Justified”) is the titular character, and if you learn one thing from John Bronco’s story, it’s the definition of “aptronym.”

Tim Meadows, sporting a cowboy hat and a befuddled look, plays Bronco’s manager, comparing his client’s overly-apt surname to “Jude Law, the judge” or “Orlando Bloom, the florist” or “Brad Pitt, the peach pie guy.”

We’re treated to the moment, a live interview after Bronco has test-driven this unnamed prototype Ford “four wheel drive sportscar” to victory at a Baja road rally, where Bronco goes all “just a country boy in dirty boots, just bustin’ his ass to make a livin'” thing and wins America’s heart.

His first catch phrase? What every good ol’boy wants after a big moment. “Eat some fudge!”

“John Bronco” charts this good ol’boy’s rise — Studio 54 with Sly and uh, David Keith, sitting down with Johnny Carson on “The Tonight Show,” going “diva,” and his sudden disappearance.

His biggest celebrity girlfriend? Bo Derek.

“If I’d known he was going to disappear, I never would’ve tried to kill him!”

His most envious celeb pitchmen competitors? Those would be Kareem Abdul Jabbar (goofing on his Nestle’s Crunch commercials of the ’70s) and Fed Ex motormouth John Moschitta Jr.

The whole thing plays like a “Saturday Night Live” sketch-film riff on “Ford v. Ferrari,” supersized and sprinkled with profanity, Goggins modeling assorted hats and boots and cut-off jeans so short they’d make Jessica Simpson blush.

Name-dropping, bad Lee Iaccoca impressions, a worse Tom Brokaw one, an O.J. gag and nostalgia for a beloved off-road vehicle that was never going to be a Jeep, but with the right pitch-man, came close.

“Buy a Bronco, cuz Daddy wants a pony, too!”

MPAA Rating: unrated, profanity

Cast: Walton Goggins, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Bo Derek, Tim Meadows, narrated by Dennis Quaid.

Credits: Directed by Jake Szymanski, story by Marc Gilbar. A Hulu release.

Running time: :38

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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