Vague Visages’ Bootyology review contains minor spoilers. Joe Eddy’s 2023 movie features Spencer Yaras, Chris Lightbody and Alysha Young. Check out the VV home page for more film reviews, along with cast/character summaries, streaming guides and complete soundtrack song listings.
Where the hell did the booty go? That’s the central focus of Joe Eddy’s Bootyology, a 2023 mockumentary about the 2006 disappearance of a hip-hop duo known as The Booty Boys. Did their booty-centric antics lead to a crime? Or did the party rappers simply ascend to the Bootyverse? Bootyology stays consistent with its backside premise — primarily through a fantastic first act and strong comedic writing/acting throughout — but loses rhythm by failing to fully explore an AI commentary that opens the film, along with the external world of money-hungry executives. Blame it on the booty, I guess. Or perhaps blame it on the boogie of the comedic writing. Whatever one’s preference may be — in terms of the backside — one can’t deny that Bootyology is comedy gold.
Imagine filmmaker Kevin Smith musing about the early days of hip-hop. And then imagine him smoking a couple joints and wondering what might’ve happened if the Beastie Boys disappeared for 15 years and ultimately returned to an evolved society, just like Hologram 2Pac at Coachella. Bootyology’s brilliant first act does indeed feel like a real documentary, at least until it’s revealed that The Booty Boys — sixxxHole (Spencer Yaras) and browneye (Chris Lightbody) — were actually frozen in a Southern California bar called Budthoulz, otherwise known as “Buttholes.” Armed with a sci-fi narrative wrinkle, Bootyology follows the protagonists as they struggle with PTFD (Post-Traumatic Freeze Disorder) while trying to revive their careers.
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Bootyology values the ethos of hip-hop traditionalists. There’s a small dose of Limp Bizkit frontman Fred Durst in browneye, while sixxHole walks and talks like an under-appreciated barstool poet. The opening act establishes all the necessary context as former collaborators remember The Booty Boys’ glory days. And all of the side players comedically align with the heart and soul of a modern comedic production like Ted Lasso, which is fundamentally about second chances, accessible humor and constant pop culture references.
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For example, Bootyology features supporting players like Terry aka Bootytron 9000 (Rhett George) and Mary aka Queen Bootytifah (Megan Duffy), both of whom instantaneously give the film a throwback vibe, a la Wild Style (1982) and Krush Groove (1985). The main subjects themselves come across as blazed-out and smaller versions of The Fat Boys, and a couple of the nerdy characters (Robert J. Steinmiller Jr. as Linus Van Lynes, Dave Theune as Kevin) allow for timely commentaries about artificial intelligence, celebrity adoration and social influencers. Overall, Bootyology succeeds by properly explaining why The Booty Boys earned a loyal following.
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Unfortunately, Bootyology goes overboard with second-half cultural references. It’s not quite as bad as any modern Adam McKay film (fourth wall breaks and clever interstitial graphics) but rather more in line with movies that deconstruct societal shifts and feel the need to remind viewers of changing cultural norms. But… but… but… that’s merely a minor complaint about this particular butt production.
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Also, Bootyology never builds upon the opening AI commentary, instead using it as a crutch for a final act twist. Still, the music itself is on point, along with the lyricism. This is incredibly important, as the first act freeze reveal just might be too outlandish for some viewers. Fortunately, though, Eddy keeps Bootyology moving along and brings out the best of his leads.
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If Bootyology loses momentum in the final act, it picks up with surprisingly tender moments featuring Taras as sixxHole. And if the cinematography is somewhat standard (to be expected for a mockumentary), a show-stopping banger — “We Are All Butt Men” — will keep viewers thinking about the power of their backsides. Like so many great comedic minds on the rise, though, Eddy doesn’t know when to drop the mic, which then shifts the focus to the somewhat-lazy AI angle. But, Bootyology is indeed an unapologetic ode to the butt, and nobody should let their cheeks and cheeky humor hold them back. Eddy’s entertaining flick will presumably be a digital/midnight movie hit, if and when the Butt Gods help streamers find the film online. Godspeed, Bootyology.
Bootyology releases on VOD August 22, 2023 via Gravitas Ventures.
Q.V. Hough (@QVHough) is Vague Visages’ founding editor.
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