Friday, September 09, 2005

THE MAN - what a waste of talent

THE MAN is a formulaic and only occasionally funny cop-buddy movie. The set up is that Samuel L Jackson, Bad-ass and Jedi, is a hard-as-nails cop. His partner has just gone down for corruption, so that Jackson is under suspicion. His mission is to take out a big-time dealer by pretending that he is also a corrupt cop. Unfortunately, the villain of the piece - played with a surprisingly large dollop of credibility by former British boy-band member, Luke Goss - mistakes Eugene Levy for the corrupt cop. Now, Eugene Levy is best known to all of us as the sweet dad in American Pie or as the sweet put-upon husband in a string of mockumentaries like BEST IN SHOW or A MIGHTY WIND. In order to make it credible that the villain would actually believe Levy is a criminal, the script-writers work had on the incidental and frankly, ridiculous, plot details. But you know - any of these odd-couple mistaken-identity movies rely on you buying into the absurd plot set-up. Whether the film still works depends on whether there is genuine chemistry between the two leads and whether the gags are actually funny. Unfortunately for this movie, I found the relationship between Jackson and Levy unfunny and abusive. How many more times do we have to see a wise-cracking hard-ass black guy take the piss out of a geeky white guy? This stuff is tired. Worse still, it generates bad cinema - anyone who doesn't believe me after seeing THE MAN should check out that horribly Queen Latifah-Jimmy Fallon flick TAXI. So, please Hollywood, let's bury this genre or at least get in better funny-men to do the script.

THE MAN goes on release in the UK and US today and hits France on January 11th 2006.

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