5.9/10
20,918
67 user 26 critic

Men at Work (1990)

PG-13 | | Action, Comedy, Crime | 24 August 1990 (USA)
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Two garbage men uncover a conspiracy involving illegal toxic waste dumping and decide to bring the whole operation down.

Director:

Emilio Estevez

Writer:

Emilio Estevez
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlie Sheen ... Carl Taylor
Emilio Estevez ... James St. James
Leslie Hope ... Susan Wilkins
Keith David ... Louis Fedders
Dean Cameron ... Pizza Man
John Getz ... Maxwell Potterdam III
Hawk Wolinski Hawk Wolinski ... Biff
John Lavachielli ... Mario
Geoffrey Blake ... Frost
Cameron Dye ... Luzinski
John Putch ... Mike
Tommy Hinkley ... Jeff
Darrell Larson ... Jack Berger
Sy Richardson ... Walt Richardson
Kari Whitman ... Judy
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Storyline

Carl and James are two pleasant but unambitious garbage men. Carl has a telescope with which he observes his neighbors. One evening he sees a man giving a female neighbor a hard time. As she leaves he shoots the man with a pellet gun. Hiding, he and James miss two men strangling the man and leaving with the body. When he appears in a can on their route they are afraid and hide the body, fearing that they may be implicated in the death. Trying to crack the case, they spy on the woman, join up with a slightly to majorly crazed Vietnam vet, kidnap a pizza man and help to protect the ecology. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Two garbagemen who know when something smells funny! See more »

Genres:

Action | Comedy | Crime

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 August 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Clear Intent See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,184,311, 26 August 1990, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$16,247,964
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of the trivia questions that Carl and James ask each other concerns Richard Nixon's staff. Charlie Sheen had previously worked with Oliver Stone, who went on to make Nixon (1995). See more »

Goofs

When the cops are trying to talk to Berger just after Carl, James, and Louis find his dead body, Berger blinks. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jack Berger: I can't support this activity any longer, Max.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the credits, a radio host is heard accepting a call from a woman who complains that her pizza deliveryman boyfriend (likely Pizza Man) didn't return home the previous night and she fears he may be cheating. The host tells her to "dump the dude." See more »

Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Movie Pranks (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Truthful
Written by Justin Langlands and Dave Henley (as David Henley)
Performed by Blood Brothers
Publisher Big World Music and Warner/Chappell
Courtesy of Big World Records
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User Reviews

 
Pump Up The Jam With A Dead Tricky Dick And A Couple Of Beach Bum Binmen.
11 September 2011 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

Men at Work is written and directed by Emilio Estevez, who also co-stars with brother Charlie Sheen, Keith David, Leslie Hope, Dean Cameron and John Getz. Music is by Stewart Copeland and photography out on locations that include beaches at Redondo and Hermosa, is by Tim Suhrstedt. Plot finds Estevez (James) and Sheen (Carl) as two carefree garbage collectors who find a dead body in a barrel during their rounds. Trouble is, is that the dead guy is the man Sheen shot with his pellet gun the previous evening. Thinking they might be responsible for his death, and prompted by their newly acquired chaperon, cop hating Louis Fedders (David), they unwisely decide not to call in the cops. So with an unhinged Vietnam War vet and a dead body on their hands, Carl and James are in big trouble.

Undemanding picture that's more enjoyable if you happen to be a fan of either Sheen or Estevez, Men at Work often struggles for laughs but is intermittently lit up by the odd humorous moment that comes with a side order of cool. There's a little drama in the mix, and even a delicate hint of social commentary via the illegal toxic waste dumping core that the frivolity is wrapped around. But really this is all about the two Brat Packers running free and Keith David superbly stealing the movie from the both of them. When the "we got a dead body to keep from the cops" comedy runs out of steam, and it does a little too early in the piece, it's left to David to bring the laughs with his cop hating rants and coiled spring like intensity ready to unleash on anyone who gets in the way or dares to eat his fries. Hope is amiable and pretty, though she only serves as a love interest for Sheen, while Getz isn't in it much and the two hit men on the boys tail don't bring anything new to that well trodden comedy table.

When it hits its comedy stride, the funny sequences that drop in are just that, funny (golf clap, the nasty, human waste exploding balloons, Keith David), but these moments only serve to highlight the scripts shortcomings elsewhere. 6/10


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