While The Man is not officially a remake, it is an exact copy of a dozen other equally forgettable films released in the last 20 years, and amazingly it is also the same as another dozen films not even made yet. Films that will also suck, but nonetheless will cost precious little to make, thereby somehow justifying their clogging of DVD racks. If DVD racks even exist anymore.
After a mistaken identity thanks to a mishap on a holiday years prior, bland harmless white dental equipment salesman Andy (Eugene Levy) finds himself a player in a high stakes transaction involving stolen guns. This also brings him into the orbit of Van (Samuel L Jackson), a reckless maverick street cop who needs a frontman to gain entry to the criminal network.
Oh and he’s black.
This new mismatched duo of reluctant participants soon find themselves up to their eyeballs in crime, with Van using Andy – aka The Turk – to open doors and gain access to criminals that he would never otherwise get near.
Thankfully the film doesn’t play the black / white thing very much. In fact it seems to be too lazy to bother much about any of the possible angles. Instead there are numerous conversations where the all trusting Andy lectures the always suspicious Van about how to deal with people, including his own ex-wife and child, and still other one sided convos about how Van should be nicer.
Both Levy and Jackson play their roles as well as can be expected, with Levy doing most of the dialogue duties and Jackson largely relegated to frowning and occasionally telling him to shut up. For what it’s worth they also share a solid onscreen chemistry, both having been in dozens of other films over decades, most better than this.
The Man is the type of film where you can fall asleep half way through, miss 30 minutes and awake knowing exactly what is going on. It is totally unnecessary and as a result it doesn’t care if you like it or not. What I can’t forgive though is that the filmmakers were too lazy to even dream big, they so stubbornly play it safe, to the point where two of the big laffs arrive in the form of the exact same flatulence gag.
That’s what this film is, a harmless 80 minute explosion of vaguely malodorous air.
Final Rating – 5 / 10. I can’t wait until this film comes out again next week. And the week after. And then again before Christmas…