Less the opulent retelling she (Taymor) intended and more like a high-minded midnight movie, filled with Ricky's-style costumes, black swans, sprites that flit across the screen and a cave filled with boiling beakers.
Peter Jackson siphoned out all the soulfulness that made the author's combination thriller/afterlife fantasy a best-seller. In its place is a gumball-colored potboiler that's more squalid than truly mournful.
The movie soon turns into only a production-designed run-and-chase game, and our curiosity about what happened to Earth and the crew is teased and teased again until the movie’s big letdown of a reveal.
Where on the evolutionary scale of wacky-dudes-learn-to-grow-up movies does Role Models fall? Certainly less evolved than "Meatballs," but head and hairy knuckles above "Daddy Day Care" or "The Benchwarmers."
And then there is the most annoying animated sidekick in a long time: a bulb-headed, trying-to-be-cute glow creature called Kilowatt (Kristen Chenoweth), who sings an ear-piercing, high-pitched note when it's scared, which is often.