Crime comedy gives Jack Black his best role in years. Too bad the movie isn’t better.
By Devin D. O’Leary
It's hard to reconcile Richard Linklater, the young-turk auteur who gave us 1991’s Gen-X manifesto Slacker, with Richard Linklater, the movie industry vet (Fast Food Nation, The School of Rock, Bad News Bears) who delivers Jack Black's latest: a pleasantly quirky crime comedy called Bernie. Not that Bernie represents any sort of sad, corporate sellout on the part of Linklater. It’s just that aside from the inclusion of fellow Austinite Matthew McConaughey (who worked with Linklater on Dazed & Confused and The Newton Boys), Bernie isn’t recognizable as something from Linklater’s résumé.