Head to Head: Rudd vs. Cook

Once again, it's a weekend battle of head to head stars. In this corner, we have Stand up comedian Dane Cook in the deliberately unfunny serial killer drama Mr. Brooks. And in this corner we have long time Frat Pack comedian Paul Rudd in the new Judd Apatow comedy Knocked Up. Let's drop the cage. Two men enter! One man leaves!

In the box office this weekend: Winner - Rudd. Let's see. It's the comedy with the tagline From the makers of The 40-Year-Old Virgin vs the movie with the imaginary tagline From the actors who used to be the biggest stars in the world 15 years ago! Oh yeah, and one of them isn't very good.

In the critical arena: Winner - Rudd. The current film critic trend is to be all over Judd Apatow like a cheap suit. Despite the fact that Knocked Up is getting a bit colder reception than 40 Year Old Virgin due to some early overhype and a long running time (for a comedy) it's still going to run circles around this week's punching bag Mr. Brooks. Although Cook is going to earn some fine marks for doing something he's never done before and doing it well, while Rudd will earn high marks for just doing more of the same.

In their careers: Winner - Cook. This is a big step for Cook, who has been taking the world by storm with his stand up for the last few years. While critics have been harsh on his comic style, he's got a lot of young fans and this role proves that the man can act. Rudd had his shot in the 90's and seems to be forever locked in as a supporting actor. I think Cook, with the right script or two, could really explode and become bigtime.

In a fight: Winner - Cook. Have you seen the guy? Normally I would never bet on a standup comedian, but this guy is all over the place like a spastic kid off of his Ritalin. And I've made it a point to always bet on crazy.

This weeks Winner: Paul Rudd. Even with a score of 2-2, box office and critic response will always outweigh the long haul and a parking lot brawl when it comes to a head to head. So I've got to give it to the Ruddster.

C. Robert Cargill - - - Email Me


Austin-based Cargill, who not only loves but owns The Cutting Edge, writes on movies and DVD five times a week.