A tired example of package deal movie making, much of the all too stretched 79 minute runtime of this comedy is spent mulling over the idea of what the studio pitch meeting for this film would’ve been like. Obviously some producer said “Sam Jackson and Eugene Levy in a buddy cop action-comedy” and a studio exec said “brilliant” and greenlit it right away.
That’s about the only forethought that seems to have gone into “The Man”, a film which takes two admittedly strong talents and utterly wastes them. It seems painfully obvious the film got the go ahead with the two actors names being the only forethought. How else can one explain the rewritten bad “Miami Vice” episode that constitutes the script, or the obviously truncated budget which restricts the action to mostly car chases down the same back alley, or Les Mayfield’s painfully pedestrian direction.
At least with these two actors one would hope for some laughs, especially as both are playing over the top caricatures of the kind of roles that have made them famous. Yet despite the odd chuckle, mostly due more to their physical comedic skills than anything else, the comedy is decidedly missing in action. Other actors like Miguel Ferrer are wasted though Luke Goss manages to do better than expected as the well-tanned, well-hung British arms dealer villain of the piece.
The pairing of these two is a good idea and given better behind-the-scenes personnel this could’ve at least serviced as a decent “Lethal Weapon” or “Rush Hour” clone. Instead all we’ve got is a little over and hour or lame flatulence and anal retention jokes. I hope the stars got a good paycheck for their time, because they sure wasted ours.