It the best mockumentary since Spinal Tap.
"There's nothing better for the inside of a man, than the outside of a Bronco." - John Bronco.
Imagine Documentaries' John Bronco Rides Again is the second short mockumentary about "the most famous pitchman that ever lived," John Bronco. It follows the resurgence of the fictional hero after he disappeared following his early life as a pitchman for the famous Ford Bronco 4x4.
Bronco is played by the spectacular Walton Goggins of TV's The Shield, Justified, and most recently The Unicorn on CBS. He also played in Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight and Django Unchained. Both of the Bronco docs can be found on Hulu now and we're surprised we missed the first one that came out last year, which is also spectacular.
In that first short, just named John Bronco, we get the legend's origin story. Bronco was a bull rider who was discovered by Ford's Lee Iacocca as "the toughest son of a bitch in town." He was picked to helm the new mystery off-roader that Ford was building to compete against the new Jeep and the International utility vehicles at the Baja 1000 in the 1960s. Imagine sprinkled a little bit of real history in the mockumentary, which is also a Bronco commercial. But we don't care.
Bronco won the 1000 and lost his sunglasses, then drove the course backward, "even faster," to find them. After that, he rose to stardom. They're doing sort of a Paul Bunyan/Forrest Gump mythology here, splicing John into old footage in commercials for the classic Bronco on TV with celebrities like Johnny Carson and Kareem Abdul Jabbar.
John Bronco Rides Again starts again with a fictional Ford historian trying to get Bronco's name on a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame. He finds out that Bronco needs to have worked in every decade to be considered and sets out to find himself, to be the world's greatest pitchman once again.
We cannot say enough about Goggins in this role. Granted, he was already one of our favorite dramatic actors, but the fact that he can hold up these ridiculous scenes without breaking is nothing short of amazing. With his southern drawl courtesy of his Birmingham, Alabama roots, Bronco is the working man's cowboy hero we'd all like to be.
If you have 25 minutes, and Hulu, we definitely recommend it. And if you have 37 more minutes, watch the first short before the second, we're guessing they're even more enjoyable in the proper order. They're worth it just for the Johnny Cash-style intro songs, singing the praises of John Bronco.