Sunday, 9 June 2013

No.103 : The Man

The Man at the IMDb
Samuel L Jackson and Eugene Levy star in this alleged comedy that marries the familiar plots of ‘fish out of water’ and ‘mismatched partners’.

Levy play Andy, a nervous Wisconsin dental supplies salesman who is travelling to Detroit for a convention. His supportive family wish him well as he practices his speech and warn him of the dangers of the mean streets of Michigan. Meanwhile Jackson’s detective partner has been murdered and he’s out for revenge.

Jackson bullies $20k from a fat evidence clerk and arranges a meeting with a dodgy gun dealer. Jackson fails to find the USA Today he needs to signal his contact and wouldn’t you know it? Levy is already at the meeting place diner reading the self same newspaper. Strangely the paper alone is enough to convince the gun runner that Levy is his buy and he hands him a phone and gun as a taster. This unlikely scenario means that Levy is embroiled in the sting and he has to team up with Jackson to solve the case.

Initially Levy is shy and nervous and Jackson rough and tough but soon the two start to learn from each other and gain confidence and humility as a result. Yes, it is that crappy. The gunrunner and ruthless killer is laughably Luke Goss out of ‘Bros’ and as you’d guess he exudes all the menace of Elmer Fudd. Like no gunner runner you could imagine Goss sends the unlikely duo across town as he tries to work out if they are cops while Jackson tries to keep the unpredictable Levy onside.

Back at the station the familiar face of  Miguel Ferrer is heading up an investigation of Jackson whom he thinks may be bent. Jackson also has Susie off ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ as his unconvincing boss who tells him to hand in his badge and gun - yeah that’ll work. As we enter the last third seeds are sown that make us wonder if Jackson really is corrupt (he isn’t) and whether Levy will manage to pull of his big speech following his experiences (he does).

Jesus wept,  this is a terrible film. It suffers from virtually every problem a film like this can have from poor script, terrible acting, a famine of laughs and an unbelievable and deeply padded plot. The majority of the film (read : all of it) is totally pointless as it was always ending up with a showdown at the warehouse for the big gun buy. To get us there we have to suffer some execrable scenes where Levy farts a lot and another where he gets shot in the ass and chooses to treat it with taco sauce.

There is no danger whatsoever with cool killer Luke completely out of his depth as the thinly sketched bad guy. The subplot of the internal affairs investigation is also a waste as we know Jackson is innocent mainly because he’s the star but also because we witness Luke carrying out one of the killings pinned on Jackson.

I’m probably looking a bit too deeply into this film which is not something the script writers can be accused of. If they played it straight up comedy you could excuse some of the shortfalls but when they include murders and a mystery element along side and extended farting scene you can tell it’s all over the place.

Levy probably garners half marks as he’s just doing his usual nervous dad shtick but he doesn’t cover himself in glory, not least in the scene his trousers fall down at a busy crossroads - I guess he had a tax bill due. Come to think of it he must get loads of them what with all the straight to DVD ‘American Pie’ films…

Jackson is dreadful as the hard man who isn’t lonely but regrets the deteriorating relationship he has with his ballet dancing 10 year old daughter. He tries to come across as tough but just seems like a bullying dick in every scene. Miguel and Susie have little to do but both will be crossing this effort from their CVs if they have any sense.

I appreciate this isn’t meant to be an awards contender but the low brow laughs, terrible acting and non-existent plot mean it will be regarded as an insult even to the most committed moron. Avoid!

THE Tag Line -  Man, This is awful    25%

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