Gearing up for the biggest speech of his life, Andy Fidler
(Levy) heads to Detroit for this Dental Suppliers conference but when he
gets there everything takes a turn for the worst. While sat in a diner reading
his USA Today, a man sets next to him and gives him a package telling him
it is the sample he asked for. When he opens the mystery package he finds
a cell phone and a gun inside just as Special Agent Derrick Vann (Jackson)
walks in. Unfortunately Andy has become involved in an ATF operation and
now it is up to him to help Vann capture the gunrunners.
Odd couple buddy movies have worked well at the box office
since cinema began but can 'The Man' bring anything new to the concept?
Bringing two actors together that are complete opposites have
been a stable part of the movie business since it began and this movie hopes
to capitalise on this point. Here we have a career minded, family man from
small town America who is coming to the big city to give the biggest speech
of his Dental Supplying career that gets caught up in a federal investigation.
Then we have a Special Agent of the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and
Firearms) who is trying to bring down an arms dealer who killed his partner
and brought him to the attention of Internal Affairs investigators. These
two completely different personalities are thrown together and you might
be expecting high jinx to ensue but what we receive is decidingly average.
A hardnosed, untrusting federal agent having to work with
a Dental supply salesman and family man might seem like a recipe for comedic
hilarity but instead we have a script that totally misses the mark. Here
we have very basic and average gags about excessive swearing, flatulence
and lack of understanding between two different occupations. The possibility
of comedy rears its head many a time during this extremely short movie (It's
only 83 minutes long) but when it comes to delivering a huge hit but most
of the time the swing and miss.
The shortcomings of the script let down the two leading actors
that could have brought so much to the movie. Samuel L. Jackson is arguably
the coolest actor working in film at the moment and an excellent dramatic
actor. He can also play the straight man extremely well but this film doesn't
offer him the chance to hone his comedy skills. Instead we find that all
his character gets to do is respond to Andy's flatulence and learn a lesson
by the end of the film. Eugene Levy is an amazingly talented comedic actor
but his character of Andy really doesn't push his talents at all. Levy does
create a man who is out of his depth very well but he is almost strangled
by the restrictions of the script. Bearing in mind that he is improvisational
expert, he seems far too restrained to produce many of the laughs that we
come to expect from him.
'The Man' is a very average film that wastes the talented
cast that the filmmakers have assembled. A noticeably performance by British
actor Luke Goss is the only real highlight but he is also restricted by
the script that is decidingly average. This is a movie that will wash over
you, which is a shame as it could have been so much more.
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