Samuel L. Jackson, Eugene Levy, Luke Goss, Miguel Ferrer, Anthony Mackie and Susie Essman

Les Mayfield

Running Time:
83 mins

"He's my bitch"

Andy Fidler

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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