The Man Review

by Steve Rhodes (Steve DOT Rhodes AT InternetReviews DOT com)
September 8th, 2005

A film review by Steve Rhodes

Copyright 2005 Steve Rhodes

RATING (0 TO ****): * 1/2

Gosh, aren't fart jokes funny? Especially a lot of them. THE MAN is recycled humor from plots you've seen a hundred times before. Maybe on late night cable, when the price is right, THE MAN might have some limited appeal, but, as a theatrical movie, it is a waste of time and money. For me it was a laughless comedy, although some members of my audience would disagree.

One thing it does have is a decent cast, or a least two good actors to be more precise. Director Les Mayfield, as he did in BLUE STREAK, pairs a couple of actors of different types and races and lets them bicker the day away. This time, Samuel L. Jackson plays ATM Special Agent Derrick Vann, a street smart cop out to bag some bad guys who killed his partner. As Vann's reluctant "partner," BEST IN SHOW's Eugene Levy plays Andy Fidler, a motor mouth who is a dental equipment salesman in town to give a talk at a dental convention.

Through a hard to believe case of mistaken identity, a group of illegal gun runners think that Andy is "The Man" in the sense of the guy to deal with about a big gun purchase, but not "The Man" in sense of being an undercover cop. Don't ask.

Soon Andy becomes known as "The Turk" and has police from various forces after him and his partner Vann. They, of course, aren't really partners at all and spend most of the movie engaging in slapstick and arguments. They do this for 83 minutes that feel sometimes like an eternity.

Typical of what goes for humor in the movie occurs in an incident when Vann wants his snitch to give up key information. In order to obtain the information, Vann pins the guy against a chain link fence with a Cadillac and then repeatedly -- and I do mean repeatedly -- hits him over the head with a phonebook. I expected Vann at any moment to start with a Marx Brothers routine and use two fingers to start poking the other guy's eyes. The incident ends with the snitch receiving the ultimate punishment -- the breaking of his gold tooth.

Cue the groans.

THE MAN runs 1:23. It is rated PG-13 for "language, rude dialogue and some violence" and would be acceptable for kids around 9 and up.

The film opens nationwide in the United States on Friday, September 9, 2005. In the Silicon Valley, it will be showing at the AMC theaters, the Century theaters and the Camera Cinemas.


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