The Man

"Unbearable"

The Man Review


A boring, all-you-can-regurgitate buffet of buddy-movie/cop-movie banality, "The Man" would collapse under the weight of its own generic stupidity if it weren't for the screen presence of Samuel L. Jackson and Eugene Levy.

Continuity-blind director Lee Mayfield ("Blue Streak") asks very little of these two entertaining actors -- just that Jackson rehash his hotheaded, wise-cracking tough-guy persona for the umpteenth time and Levy do the same with his familiar babbling, middle-aged suburban dork character. But such familiarity is the only comfort in a flick so feeble it actually depends on its plot holes to advance the story.

Levy is a dental equipment salesman who inadvertently stumbles into a one-man illegal-arms sting being run by Jackson, a leather-clad, corn-row cool, loose-cannon federal agent forced to prove his innocence after his crooked partner is killed. Shopworn odd-couple antics and idiot-reliant misunderstandings ensue, along with lots of routine bad-cop behavior from Jackson. While loquacious Levy frets and stammers, Jackson beats up informants, threatens witnesses, borrows $500,000 from an evidence locker (what could possibly go wrong?), and endangers civilians -- all of which is played for laughs without any hint of success.

Will he have to turn in his badge and gun and finish the investigation against orders? Will Levy be forced to improvise, screwing up Jackson's plan? Will Mayfield resort to fart jokes again and again in desperation? Will the Eurotrash villains from Central Casting be behind bars in time for Levy to give a speech at a dentistry convention and Jackson to attend his daughter's ballet recital, thus proving to his ex-wife that he's not an absentee father?

Take a wild guess.

If there were Academy Awards for Most Unoriginal Screenplay and Most Uninspired Direction, "The Man" would be this year's odds-on favorite for both, but if the monotonous, merely expedient lead performances are any indication, Jackson and Levy didn't much care. Occasionally, their delivery of dead-on-arrival punchlines breathes a half-second of life into "The Man." (The scene in which Levy calls Jackson "my bi-atch" is the movie's only comedic high point.) But most of the time you can almost hear them thinking to themselves, "It will be over soon. Just close your eyes and think of the money."



The Man

Facts and Figures

Run time: 83 mins

In Theaters: Friday 9th September 2005

Box Office USA: $8.3M

Box Office Worldwide: $12.4M

Distributed by: New Line Cinema

Production compaines: New Line Cinema

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 11%
Fresh: 11 Rotten: 89

IMDB: 5.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: Samuel L. Jackson as Derrick Vann, as Andy Fiddler, as Joey Kane, as Agent Peters, as Lt. Rita Carbone, as Booty, Gigi Rice as Susan, as Dara Vann, as Second I.A. Agent, Christopher Murray as Homeless Man, Joel S. Keller as Laptop Guy, John Hemphill as Ted, Kathryn Greenwood as Flight Attendant, George Ghali as Cab Driver, Leni Parker as Cashier, Matt Cooke as Uniform Cop on PA, Joe Sacco as Rookie, Neville Edwards as Tall Agent, Scott Wickware as Booking Officer, Tomorrow Baldwin Montgomery as Kate Vann, Geoffrey Bowes as Phone Agent, Carrie Cain-Sparks as Big Kim


Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation Movie Review

Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation Movie Review

Writer-director Christopher McQuarrie brings a dark and gritty tone to this larger-than-life franchise. Along with...

Beyond the Reach Movie Review

Beyond the Reach Movie Review

With a spectacular setting and two solid actors on-screen, this thriller builds enough solid suspense...

Cub Movie Review

Cub Movie Review

At a time when horror movies seem to only want to make the audience jump,...

Inside Out Movie Review

Inside Out Movie Review

Those bright sparks at Pixar have done it again, taking a fiercely original approach to...

Advertisement
Southpaw Movie Review

Southpaw Movie Review

Slick direction and meaty performances may be enough for some viewers, but this boxing drama's...

Eden Movie Review

Eden Movie Review

Loose and impressionistic, this beautifully shot film traces the career of a DJ who pioneered...

The Gallows Movie Review

The Gallows Movie Review

Without a single moment of originality, this found-footage horror movie really deserves to be the...

Self/Less Movie Review

Self/Less Movie Review

An intriguing premise keeps the audience gripped for about 20 minutes before the movie runs...

Advertisement