Picture the scene. A police interrogation room. The lighting is harsh. The chairs are hard. Miguel Ferrer is the badass internal affairs guy. Samuel L. Jackson is the rogue ATF agent who breaks rules but gets the job done. Ferrer thinks Jackson is dirty, is riding him hard, is gonna bring him down, dammit! Jackson goes nuclear in Ferrer’s face — he ain’t gonna take this shit no more!
This is how The Man opens, and it’s heartbreaking. You see, Ferrer and Jackson treat this like it’s important, like it matters. Like the dedicated professionals that they both are, they give it their all. Not in a scenery-
One imagines that perhaps playing it straight, pretending that it mattered, was the only possible way to endure the job and retain their sanity.
Look, it’s not that every comedy has to be His Girl Friday. It’s that we should be able to expect that corporate-
The Man could only be more obvious if it consisted of nothing but a man on a dark, bare stage stuck in a 90-
But that wouldn’t be much more obvious.
Many, many films have plots that are beside the point, but few of those dare to be as criminally idiotic as The Man‘s, which begins with the most ridiculous example of mistaken identity in just about forever, after which the plot gets really stupid. Jackson’s undercover ATF agent Derrick Vann sets up a buy with an illegal gun dealer (Luke Goss), who will know Vann because he’ll be sitting at the end of a diner counter reading a copy of USA Today. By an astoundingly outlandish and bizarre coinindence, in that very diner on that very morning, dental-
But it’s okay cuz it’s funny, see how Andy’s such a hopeless dork and now bad guys think he’s a gun dealer, too! Oh, and he’s white! Best of all, he doesn’t like the F word, and now he’s stuck with Vann, who doesn’t say anything but the F word, and also enjoys beating up suspects and threatening Andy with anal prison rape, until he can actually arrange for Andy to be anally violated, which is hilarious, let me tell you.
Honestly, bring the family. I hear the kids are totally into anal prison rape and Homeland Security cavity searches these days.
That the cast manages to maintain its dignity at all is nothing short of miraculous.
It makes me very sad to report that The Man made me think of Midnight Run, which is my most favorite reluctant-