Ben Stiller and Jack Black star as Tim and Nick, best friends, neighbors and co-workers, whose equal footing is suddenly tripped up when one of Nick's harebrained get-rich-quick schemes actually succeeds: Vapoorizer, a spray that literally makes dog poop, or any other kind for that matter, evaporate into thin air -- to where exactly is anyone's guess. Tim, who had scoffed at Nick's idea and passed on an opportunity to get in on the deal, can only watch as Nick's fortune -- and Tim's own envy -- grow to equally outrageous proportions. When the flames of jealousy are fanned by an oddball drifter (Walken) who imposes himself into the situation, Tim's life careens wildly out of control ... taking Nick's with it. Written by
Misfires across every aspect to produce a pointless film whose only merit is how forgettable it is
Tim Dingman and Nick Vanderpark are neighbours and colleagues working down at 3M in middle-management jobs with vague prospects for more. Tim scores highly across the board on his performance chart, but dreamer Nick flunks on focus. Constantly discussing his pipe-dreams, Nick has worn down Tim to the point where he doesn't listen any more. However when Nick does hit on something, Tim ignores the chance to invest. Eighteen months later and Nick is rich beyond his wildest dreams and has covered his house across the street into a mansion. Meanwhile Tim has been left feeling inadequate and jealous of Nick's success.
I'm surprised by the amount of hate put aside for this film, not because it is bad but more because, having seen it, I'm struggling to have any strong feelings towards it one way or another as it is all very bland and misfiring. I can understand why professional critics laid into it; it is not that often that they sees stars fall so when someone has a high-profile flop, it is almost like a competition to write the most savage review and of course the public mostly follow suit at first. Anyway, I'm not quite sure what the plot is here because it seems to be being made up as it goes along and there is no flow to it.
Worse than this, there are no real laughs either. Occasionally (and I mean very occasionally) there are some slightly amusing moments but mostly it is just one misfired attempt at humour after another and the overwhelming impact on me was one of inducing boredom. The cast are wasted with the material, which is where the weakness lies. Stiller needed to produce a real person and then move him into extremes in the way that has worked for him before. Here though he cannot find the person and instead he just mugs his way through. Black is left on the sidelines to occasionally act like a big kid, he doesn't suit the role and he deserved something better but he is nothing compared to the waste of the fine actress Weisz, who hopefully at least had fun on this cause I can't imagine this film brought her anything else. Walken is OK but only because he is being "Walken" throughout which is still fun because he is now like someone doing a really good impression of Christopher Walken, which is fun I guess.
Overall then a bad film but not in the ranting "burning torches in the street" sense that some reviewers have done but just in the "pointless wasted of time with nothing at all of value" sense. At best it amuses but mostly every aspect of it misfires most of the time and it only succeeded in making me bored.
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