Netflix presents ANOTHER take on this harrowing tale of polka and fraud. So let this next sentence be your guide…

It’s a modern-day SNL skit stretched over an hour, starring Nacho Libre.

I guess that really doesn’t sound that bad if you’re fifteen years old in the year 2009. Jack Black is bad here. But Jenny Slate is really bad too, and Jason Schwartzman had his kids held hostage or something. I thought we were watching the best Wes Anderson movie ever. We also get a few cameos from one of the funnier modern SNL (non-Kenan) players, Vannessa Bayer.

Who Cares?

This movie… It’s bad.

Directed and written by both Maya Forbes and (presumed man-slave and foot fetishist) Wallace Wolodarsky, this offering seems to just be Jack Black pushing his real life down the drain story via the Netflix pipeline.

The entire time I was stuck wondering what Jason Schwartzman was thinking. Did it look THAT good on paper?

A movie starring Jack Black about the guy that John Candy plays in Home Alone? But then again, I remembered Jason Schwartzman isn’t really that great at doing anything either. He wasn’t in Avatar.

So Who Cares?

I lost interest about an hour into it. When you’ve heard this story one time, you’ve heard it one too many times. .

My finer hobbies wanted to take control and lure me away, but… wine-sniffing and mutual masturbation with my empowered wife took a back seat to my real duty of reviewing this to the end. So I finished it.

Now remember, Jack Black’s accent as this Polish entrepreneur/scam artist has been done before. It’s Nacho Libre under witness protection. Think of it that way and you’ll enjoy it like a sequel to Ronin.

Jenny Slate plays his wife and – oh boy – is she a master of disguise here. Landline, anybody?

Her mom is suicide level annoying. Typical nagging East Coast mother, the kind the wife can take the kids to when things hit the fan. Jackie Weaver gives a fantastically dull performance as an unapologetic mama bird who everybody hates.


Jason Schwartzman more or less has nothing to do with the story, he’s in the band and that’s about it. He wants more money. The band wants more money.

This pushes “The Polka King” to start taking illegal investments (from vulnerable senior citizens no less) to fund his many side projects, one being a local gift shop.

Again. Who cares?

He gets kind of rich. The band gets big, he plays annoying music at Beer festivals all over Pennsylvania.


The Feds catch on early and give him a warning and three days to give back his investments. He doesn’t do it. He decides to cook his books and keep taking investments. The entire time I was wondering if this was before or after he helped the mom in Home Alone… We may never know.

J.B. Smoove is the lead investigator hot on the Polka King’s trail. Using Wallace and Grommit techniques, he follows old-people paper trails to crack the case. Fun. He’s no Jodie Foster, but he fills the gap needed to move the plot long enough to meet the minimum runtime mandated by Netflix.

I would guess he received a Costco card and six years worth of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese for his involvement. I would do it for that price, seeing as how his role consisted of no more than funny looks and about five lines. Easy eats.

Maya Forbes really raised the bar on nagging females in a way that’s visibly evident in her treatment of Slate. Wait, we already went over this. Anyway, Witness Protection Nacho Libre starts to panic and make mistakes.

His investments have added up to hundreds of thousands of dollars, his spending gets sloppy and now the Feds are back on his trail. His wife will not stop nagging. The Feds know he kept taking investments and they just need hard evidence.

At this point Black still has that stupid accent.

For some reason I hoped he would just stop doing it. Staying in focus wasn’t easy either. I began to sweat and had to remember to breathe (Thanks, movie Gimli).

His kid ends up in a vicious accident while on tour with his band. (You guessed it) The driver fell asleep at the wheel. At the same time Black gets a five year jail sentence for fraud. His life falls apart, Slate abandons him, his son (oh yea he lived and everything was fine) abandons him and nobody cares.

I meant me — I don’t care.

They never end up showing him helping the Home Alone mom. He has to come back to his family after five years in blue collar jail and gain their acceptance once again..

Schwartzman has to sell electronics…

I’m telling you they held his kids hostage for this role.

The sets and camera work are all just average. Everything is tiring. The houses are all “Mark Wahlburg-ery” and the concerts are full of swinging grandparents. Jack Black’s musical numbers pierce the story every so often and each song sounds just like the other. It’s mesmerizingly boring.

I had to double check and make sure this wasn’t a Villeneuve film.

All in all I hated it. Maya Forbes has hit my last nerve both as a director and as a Slatanist. BUT.. It was better than Force Awakens. Jack Black tries to revive some old school magic and fails miserably. If you hated The Rocker you will definitely hate this.