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It's really not that bad
druss44121-16 September 2005
What can be expected from a movie called The Man? A comedy from the director of American Outlaws starring Samuel L. Jackson riffing on his Jules character from Pulp Fiction with the dad from American Pie can't be decent, can it? Surprisingly, this new fall comedy is actually humorous if not outright hilarious, and it is certainly better than it looks on paper or in the TV-spots. It is a great example of a "pleasant surprise." That's not to say the premise isn't pretty cookie-cutter: Andy Fidler, an innocent dental tools salesman (cue Eugene Levy) gets caught up in an illegal weapons plot and must deal with Special Agent Derrick Vann (Samuel L. Jackson playing what he plays best) and his crazy world.

Vann and Andy happen to be polar opposites, as well. What a surprise.

If this all sounds strangely like the average buddy comedy about the well-mannered white guy and the tough-as-nails black guy who don't get along at first but learn to appreciate each other and then become best friends, well, it pretty much is. However, unlike many buddy comedies, this one is actually enjoyable.

At a brisk 83 minutes the movie never lags too much, and instead of focusing on its implausible story or cliché subplots The Man keeps it mainly about the chemistry between its two main characters. Also, although much of the script is forgettable seldom is pure boredom reached.

Traps such as unoriginal overused subplots and gaping plot holes can often catch many unsuspecting buddy comedies by surprise and help make them DOA (dead on arrival), but The Man actually seems to revel in its unoriginality, content with not pushing boundaries but with instead just having some fun.

In the acting department, Samuel L. Jackson is especially a surprise. While it seems he would be pretty much bored of playing the same badass character time and time again, he manages to come off convincingly and even have some fun riffing on his theatrical persona. However, the movie never winks too much at the audience and it is able to stand on its own two feet rather than constantly say, "Hey guys don't mess with the Samuel L!" The fact that Eugene Levy is very talented at playing a character who is truly clueless also helps. Both Jackson and Levy have good chemistry and even though it's pretty much a two-man show The Man comes off without a hitch because it knows what its strength is: Levy and Jackson.

The only other actor that even warrants a mention really is Luke Goss as Joey. He helps make a mundane role tolerable and interesting. He doesn't steal the show, but he has fun with being the typical criminal villain surrounded by non-descript henchmen.

In the end, much credit should go to director Les Mayfield for his quick pacing and use of a variety of jokes. Again, with a movie that is basically just a rehash of many other comedies it is smart to never dabble on one topic too much and to let the actors roam free and get into their performances. The Man never becomes showy with fancy special effects or tons of big star cameos. Rather, it makes do with what it has.

Sure, there are a lot of visual gags and the infamous "fart jokes" (those don't seem to ever get old for Hollywood), but it's all in good fun and there's enough semi-clever situation humor to keep the entire thing moving. Sometimes it's even evident what is about to happen, but when it does it happens in a way that is just unexpected enough to be humorous in its absurdity. One gag involving the drop off of "some merchandise" at a crowded street corner is a nice play on the clichés of so many other movies very similar to this.

In the end, lives won't be changed because of The Man and it probably won't be as well received or as popular as something like the Wedding Crashers, but funny is funny and for an evening out at the movies a lot worse things could happen. Just look at The Cave.

Critic's Conclusion: It's not the funniest movie of the year but that doesn't mean it isn't funny at all, and what The Man lacks in originality it more than makes up for in charm mixed up with some lively performances. It's better than the TV-spots might lead you to believe, and although it's not a must see there are a million worse ways to spend a few bucks and a couple of hours.
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Give them something to work with.
tyfirewater11 September 2005
Great story.Great action Great acting. The reason I give it a six is because it wasn't THAT funny. It was humorous at best. This i believe is the writers fault. The dialog just wasn't good enough. Eugene had nothing to work with. He still managed to make it work somehow.Remember Splash? Samuel played great his facial expressions were masterful. I have to admit that recently I might have been spoiled by Kiss Kiss Bang Bang which had the most amazing humorous dialog. Another thing that bothered me was that it was so obviously not Detriot. You can get away with making movies in Toronto in a lot of cases. But if you want to make us believe its Detroit then you gotta mess the place up a bit more.
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i liked it
piecaptain10 September 2005
Everyone in this website thinks this is a bad movie, but i wholeheartedly disagree.(pardon my spelling). Now it's true that buddy cop movies have been copied since 48 hours, but this one uses the formula they all use and cuts out all the cheesy special effects and awkward dialogue that the "bad boys" films had. Also, good movies don't have to be longer than 2 hours to be great ,and at 79 minutes, this film uses it's time wisely. Jackson and Levy are hilariously Miss-matched in two on key performances. So, just give this movie a chance and ignore the clear ripoff, the exorcism of Emily rose. One more thing, Roger Ebert gave this movie 1 and a half stars but he also gave, "the honeymooners" 3. Think about that.
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All the production values of a Saturday afternoon action serial.
sikboy2114 September 2005
I can't say the movie was a disappointment because I got what I expected from the trailer. I hoped for Jackson to reprise the Jules character from Pulp Fiction but I knew I wouldn't get him. Instead we get someone almost as angry and a whole lot more impotent: he threw tantrums when it's obvious that his bad-ass character would beat Levy. The chemistry between Jackson and Levy never develops, it's a tired combination of the oblivious and irritating (Levy) teamed up with the dead-serious bad-ass (Jackson). The director doesn't know how to take advantage of the two as his gags are poorly set-up. There's an awful lot of lowest-common-denominator stuff in this movie. Once the movie starts to drone on, out comes the fart jokes. In the end, I amused myself by substituting my own dialogue throughout the movie and looking for references to Toronto. That's another disappointment: the movie is set in Detroit and filmed in Toronto but there was minimal effort to actually make the city FEEL like Detroit. Sure, they digitally removed the CN Tower from the city skyline but the unique Toronto streetcars and streetcar tracks, Petro-Canada gas-stations, Royal York Hotel, bilingual signposts, people walking about and NO garbage or graffiti anywhere prove that it is NOT Detroit. They should have at least avoided the skyline completely since it doesn't match Detroit at all, even with the Skydome and CN Tower removed. There you go: a poor to mediocre effort on all levels.
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Entertaining light fare
cpbeau23 January 2006
Warning: Spoilers
This was by no means the best film I had ever seen. It wasn't a particularly original premise or story, nor were the jokes and gags that great...and it will by no means end up in the pantheon of the great buddy dramas...

but this movie was entertaining! And isn't that the point? The movie had some language that might offend some, and a lot of the humor was crude. The base of this movie however was Sam Jackson in a familiar "Sam Jackson" character and Eugene Levy in typical Eugene Levy role.

It only lasted 80 minutes or so, and there were not big plot 'twists'. Just a quick story with a few laughs. Not something that I would want to watch over and over, but worth renting or watching on cable.
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The Man has it's moments, but overall fails to deliver
Kristine22 June 2007
I don't know why, but something just made me wanna pick up the movie The Man. Samuel L. Jackson and Eugene Levy, why not? I have never seen Samuel in a comedy, so I thought this would be interesting and it seemed like a movie with a guaranteed laugh. While I did have moments where I laughed, like the scene where Andy tells the bad guys who Derrick is, that he's his, well, you'll have to see, I don't know if I can write it on IMDb. The story was good and the actors were fine, I'm not sure why, but the movie just didn't work or click like I thought it would.

Andy is a dentist who is about to go make huge speeches around the country, coincidentally he is in the place of where a cop, Derrick, is going under cover to buy weapons from a gang. Andy is mistaken for Derrick and now has become part of the case pretending that he's interested in this stuff. But it may not happen since he's driving Derrick insane with his pure and wholesome image.

The Man has a few good laughs that I'm sure you'll get, but I do warn you that the movie doesn't provide a full out comedy that you'll die laughing from. Eugene held his own, but Samuel in my opinion at least really cannot hold a comedy very well. He was meant to play like a serious but lovable tough guy cop, but it didn't work. So I'll leave this one up to you, if you wanna check it out, go ahead, because it's one of those films you'll have to see for yourself.

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Two Stars With Potential: Where Did This Go Wrong?
asam312212 September 2005
The plot had some potential. Mistaken identity, guns, Samuel L. Jackson, and then it went wrong...flatulence. You knows it's going to be stupid and somewhat silly.

Eugene Levy plays Andy Fidler, a dental supply salesman, who is mistaken for a guy who wants to buy illegal guns from a heist where Vann's (Samuel L. Jackson) partner was killed.

Then, it turns out that Andy has a somewhat "criminal" past. But Andy seems too oblivious to what's going on. How could he possibly have anything to do with Vann's partner's death? With laughs from mostly bathroom humor, this "comedy" is funny. I was laughing at how stupid it was! Les Mayfield is on a definite losing streak. Eugene and Samuel have talent...why this load of crap?!?!? 5/10
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Underrated and Fairly Funny.
gangstahippie15 August 2006
Rated PG-13 for language, rude dialogue and some violence Quebec Rating:G Canadian Home Video Rating:14A(should be PG)

I just saw The Man on the movie network.This movie came and went in theaters but it had Samuel L Jackson in it and it seemed funny so I decided to check this film out.Samuel L Jackson is a great actor and this film is no exception.His acting is good.So is Eugene Levy's.The storyline is okay but this film does have some very funny moments and the chemistry between Samuel L Jackson and Eugene Levy was good.This film is about a cop who must team up with a salesman who talks too much in order to get revenge on the weapon dealers who killed his partner.The Man is a fairly funny film and I think its a good rental.


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Yet another lame PG-13 comedy
guyfromjerzee10 September 2005
Samuel L. Jackson and Eugene Levy? Sounds like a great team. Can't go wrong. Not! Despite the enormous talents of both actors, they can't do a thing to save this dull, unoriginal buddy cop flick. Many of the gags fall flat and simply go nowhere. For example, in one part Levy is hungry and wants to get something to eat. Jackson suggests they get a burger, but Levy doesn't want to, because red meat doesn't agree with his stomach. The pay-off to the gag? He passes gas in the car. God, it must've taken hours to come up with that punchline! The characters are totally clichéd and one-dimensional. Levy's job is to ramble on about banalities, while Jackson's job is to roll his eyes at him. The film does nothing to distinguish itself amongst the buddy-cop genre. Come on, we went from "48 Hours" to this? Unfortunately, this is Levy's first starring role since he became a household name with his role in the "American Pie" films. Hopefully, he'll stumble upon much better roles than this in the future. His deadpan comic style is hilarious, as we've seen in the "AP" trilogy, but in "The Man" he's forced to be an obnoxious fool. Levy's talent is more in reacting to awkward situations than creating awkward situations. Samuel L. Jackson looks completely embarrassed to be associated with the film. He probably took on this role so he can fulfill his contract of 50 movies a year. Jackson is undoubtedly one of our most talented actors, but at the same time not the most choosy with his roles. Plus, in the movie he's forced to play the usual "angry black guy" character he has played in every other movie. So it really is like watching DeNiro playing a gangster. And to top it all off, Jackson and Levy seem to share no chemistry.

"The Man" is yet another lame PG-13 comedy. You remember the days when producers couldn't give two s**ts about earning the PG-13 rating? You don't even have to go that far back. Look at "My Cousin Vinny." Now, in place of that, we have watered down comedies like the "Legally Blonde" flicks. An "R-rating" probably wouldn't have made "The Man" a much better comedy, but the PG-13 comedy seems to be a epidemic nowadays. I think if producers would have the guts to be more edgy and go against the studio's wishes to submit a film with a PG-13, we'd probably have a lot more funny comedies.
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Man! What a waste!
BrigitteD24 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
We've seen it many times before. From "Miami Vice" to "Lethal Weapon", and furthermore in "Rush Hour", the cultural and personality clash of mismatched allies unwittingly working together has long become an established formula.

The newest unlikely pairing comes in the guise of Eugene Levy and Samuel L. Jackson, two individuals who stand at the furthest polar opposites from each other, both relying on their stereotypical persona of the tough guy and the bumbling nerd to illustrate this contrast.

A routine business trip from Wisconsin to Detroit turns into an unexpected case of mistaken identity for Andy Fiddler (Levy), a dental supply salesman, while heading to a convention.

Upon his arrival, he coincidentally crosses paths with Derrick Vann (Jackson), a federal agent who just happens to be dealing with the death of his partner and a stash of stolen firearms. From then on, Derrick uses Andy in his scheme to recover the weapons and expose the leader of the operation (Luke Goss). Andy, who is believed to be a participant in the whole criminal dealings, has no other choice but to cooperate with Derrick and solve the case in time to make it to his convention the next morning.

"The Man" employs the usual rules of buddy movies, as we see the two leads initially teaming up with reluctance only to inevitably become accustomed to each other in the end. Both discover that they can learn from one another, with Andy teaching Derrick to be more trusting and more appreciative of family values, while Derrick teaches Andy to be more assertive.

Levy and Jackson's combination is effective to a certain degree, due in great part to the clear distinction between positivity and negativity which emanate from both characters, the two elements nonetheless blending together to create highly compatible opposites.

Unfortunately, this exuded chemistry cannot sustain the rest of the material which all too often resorts to extensive flatulence sequences, resulting in two heavyweight actors floating on nothing more than hot air in a film that practically has no other substance and that lingers unpleasantly, long after it has passed.
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'The Man' a limp piñata of clichéd characters, jokes and plots that begs to be hit...
moviesfan1110 September 2005
'The Man' a limp piñata of clichéd characters, jokes and plots that begs to be hit...

The miscast Samuel L. Jackson stars as Derrick Vann, a caustic, gung ho Federal Agent who has 24 hours to recover a pile of stolen weapons and find his former partner's killers. This becomes much more challenging when the bad guys mistake salesman Andy Fiddler (Levy, also miscast) for the gun buyer. Now, Vann has to get Andy to pose as the front man in a sting operation.

The only thing that set's 'The Man' apart from any other buddy cop movie is that it wastes the most talent in less time then you can say "He's my bitch." I was planning on seeing "Emily Rose", but it was sold out, so I got stuck with this limp, unnecessary buddy cop "comedy" with not an original idea in it's mess of clichés. Both actors have real talent, but are wasted, trying to do their best with weak material. While the film does have some laughs, it's a lame movie with recycled jokes that doesn't realize it's a lame movie with recycled jokes. That's the real problem here.

Brainless movies are appreciated when they don't take themselves too seriously. 'The Man' can't be classified in this category because It does take itself too seriously, and actually begins to think it's a passable movie. If I wanted to see brainless fun, there are much better options out there. Don't waste $10 on this movie, don't even wait for it on DVD. Avoid.

The Man: D(3 from 10)
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Worth Renting
no_spm_brazil28 February 2006
Good ole Eugene Levy has been around for a long time, but I don't recall him ever playing a lead character (at least from what I've seen -he's been in over 80 movies). That's is too bad, because I think he made what could have otherwise been a dud work. Jackson's character was a little too "Pulp Fiction" or "hardcore" for this type of comedy, and the story itself was mediocre (read: "cookie cutter), but I thought Levy was hilarious, and I found myself laughing out loud more than once. Okay, the farting jokes were a little trite, but this is slapstick comedy. Nothing too deep, but very funny, and a decent ending. If you like Abbot and Costello, you'll probably like this. Definitely worth the price of a rental.
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business-301 March 2006
I wasn't expecting a lot from this movie other than a laugh, and it succeeded. Yes, there were dump parts to the movie, but I continued to laugh throughout the entire movie.

Samuel Jackson plays his usual tough cop wanting to solve the crime.

Eugene Levy as the salesman is very convincing. Even I wanted to tell him to shut-up! Putting the two together creates a very funny duo all the way to the final moments of the movie.

There is profanity, but Levy gives Samuel Jackson a cute lesson on how to avoid using the "F" bomb. Along with other "life" lessons that Jackson needed to be reminded of.
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Drake_Clawfang3 March 2006
The Man is one of what I like to call 'MWLP': Movies with little plot. The movie's plot is rather thin: Jackson is a cop whose partner was just killed by a gun-smuggling ring. He sets up a buy with a dealer, but a case of coincidence leads Levy to intercept the goods. Now that the dealers think Levy is the buyer, Jackson has no choice but to work with Levy to bust the ring.

Like I said, the plot if mediocre. But the movie itself is good. Jackson walks the walks, and Levy talks, talks, and talks! The cursing, swearing, tough-as-nails cop paired with a dental supply salesman who really just wants to get the job over with and go on with his life: preferably before Jackson shoots him in the keyster (again!). But in the end, Jackson must swallow his pride as Levy takes matters into his own hands and sets up a trade to get Jackson into the heart of the operation. Not bad for a dental supply salesman!

Over all...if you want an engaging, twisting, turning and suspenseful...look elsewhere. You want laughs, and one of the most outrageous cop pairings since Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan, see this movie.
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Tired retread of the buddy flick
george.schmidt12 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
THE MAN (2005) * Samuel L. Jackson, Eugene Levy, Luke Goss, Miguel Ferrer, Susie Essman, Anthony Mackie, Horatio Sanz. (Dir: Les Mayfield)

Tired retread of the 'buddy' flick

Why is the 'buddy' film such a tired vehicle? You'd think mixing a comic actor with a dramatic one would be a proved formula since it worked for Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte in "48 HRS" which pretty much launched the subgenre of cops and comedy 20 odd years ago. Well it certainly hasn't aged well and the latest venture of comic and dramatic actors joined at the hip with bullets flying may well signal the death knell for it.

The plot has hapless nice guy schmuck dental equipment salesman Andy Fidler (Levy in his trademark character form) is in Detroit for a convention but winds up gumming up the works inadvertently for a sting operation by undercover ATF Special Agent Derrick Vann (perpetually glowering Jackson) when Fidler unwittingly walks into a diner and sits where Vann is supposed to be for a very important meet with an arms dealer who assumes Fidler is 'the man'.

When Vann abducts the shocked Fidler and ingratiating him into the operation at hand well insert the laughter here folks because this is when and why it is supposed to be funny: a fish-out-of-water white tight-ass with an angry black street-smart cop team up to get the bad guy. Are you laughing yet?

The plotting is so tedious and by-the-numbers you beg for the 'hilarity to ensue' already. The script by Jim Piddock (Levy's co-star in several of the Christopher Guest mockumentaries of late) and Margaret Oberman and Stephen Carpenter feels like it is a textbook playbook and Mayfield's debut as a director is skeptical at best.

The chemistry between the two seems natural yet in reality very forced. Fart humor and calling each other a bitch is the high point in this low-concept comedy of errors. Make a citizen's arrest and don't bother seeing this film anytime soon.
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The convention
jotix1009 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
When Andy Fiddler, a man whose business is dental supplies, decides to attend the annual convention in Detroit, little prepares him for the adventure he is going to be involved, for being at the wrong place, at the wrong time. Andy, who happens to be in a coffee shop, minding his own business, has the unexpected pleasure to meet a low life guy dealing in illegal gun trafficking.

Detective Van, whose partner has been killed, is being investigated by Internal Affairs. The dead man was involved in the scam, as Agent Peters from that department tells Van, who is an honest man. Fate brings him and Andy Fiddler together, as Van wants Andy to work with him solving the case.

Les Mayfield, the director, shows a knack for making "The Man" an unexpected pleasure. He was blessed in pairing two different actors that make the movie even better. Samuel L. Jackson, an intense actor, and Eugene Levy, the comic genius, make one of the happiest appearances in a movie in quite some time. The material has a lot of laughs. The bonding of the two men is what makes the picture work. Miguel Ferrer is seen as the agent in charge of the investigation of Van. The excellent Susie Essman, long associated with Larry David, plays a police lieutenant in charge of Van.

The movie at 83 minutes running time, packs a lot of surprises. Les Mayfield, no doubt, will go to bigger and better things in the future.
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Oh dear oh dear oh dear
pandabat15 September 2005
Two men of the screen such as Levy and Jackson should have not found themselves appearing in this trough bucket. The mind boggles as to how they ended up here. Indeed, the mind boggles at how someone would even finance something as below par as this. It really reminded me of something that would appear on VHS only in the 80's. That's how bad this was. The jokes were not funny. The plot was as deep and intricate as a page of printer paper. The acting was pretty terrible too. Levy was doing his "American Pie"-father character and Jackson's reduced to casting various disparaging looks at the scenery. I really, really, really hope that no one out there is thinking of making a sequel.
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In a summer of too many bad movies, this may be the worst...
LadyLiberty11 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
As the movie opens, Detroit BATF Agent Derrick Vann (Samuel L. Jackson) is having a really bad day. His partner has been murdered, and he's a suspect. A storehouse of firearms has been stolen from the evidence locker, and he's a suspect. Internal affairs officers (headed up by actor Miguel Ferrar) issue warnings and ultimatums. And his lieutenant (Susie Essman) is none too happy about any of these things. Vann isn't, either, but at least he decides to try to do something about it.

Meanwhile, a few hundred miles to the west in the great state of Wisconsin, dental equipment salesman Andy Fidler (Eugene Levy) is preparing to give a major speech at a sales convention to be held in (what a surprise) Detroit. His speech is in fine order and his flight is uneventful. But when Andy arrives in Detroit, his simple decision to get a bite to eat lands him right in the middle of the sting operation Vann has set up in an attempt to get the guns back, nab his partner's real killer, and clear his own name.

Fidler, who innocently exhibits the signs a go-between is looking for, ends up in possession of one of the stolen firearms. Worse, the bad guys now think he's their buyer. Vann knows he has only one chance to make the deal, and so he forcibly enlists an uncooperative — and entirely naive — Andy to play along. Faced with certain unattractive choices, Andy does his best to work with Vann (his best, unfortunately, isn't much) and even manages to alleviate some of the suspicions held by the gun dealer's representative, Joey (Luke Goss).

As the deal progresses in fits, starts, mishaps, and misunderstandings, Internal Affairs continues to surveil Vann in the hopes of nabbing themselves a cop gone bad; more bodies pile up; Vann has personal problems; and Andy ends up in jail, worried he'll miss giving his speech. There's a lot going on in The Man! And all of it happens in 90 or so minutes. That it will seem a whole lot longer says something about the film, and it's not saying anything very nice.

Samuel L. Jackson is a good actor. Though he doesn't appear to be slacking off here, there's nothing anyone could do about the horrible lines he's given. I think Eugene Levy is a hoot (he's just wonderful as the earnest father in the American Pie trilogy), but he's not remotely funny in this movie. That's probably because none of his lines are remotely funny. Miguel Ferrar's IA investigator is a caricature at best; Susie Essman is a woman in a man's world artificially made ridiculously prickly by — you guessed it! — some really stupid lines.

The direction isn't terrible (though there are some edits that are), but the screenplay is truly abysmal. The storyline is obvious as all get-out, and the script is trite at best (at other times, it degenerates from "trite" directly to "could this be any dumber?"). Both the director and the writing team have some experience under their respective belts (though the résumés don't contain any films of particular note), so they all should have been better than this. That they aren't makes me wonder how it is they ever got the green light to go ahead with what is obviously intended to be a mass market release.

Is The Man a comedy? No. I know that because it isn't funny (unless you think really badly handled fart jokes are good humor). Is it a cop movie? Not really. There are stereotypes everywhere, but no real cop action, or even jargon. Is it a drama? Seeing as how it's utterly missing any drama or suspense, I'd give that a "no," too. So what exactly is The Man? Just a really bad movie.

I frankly feel bad for the actors caught up in this mess. Each and every one of them deserves better. In honesty, though, I feel even worse for those movie-goers who, either intentionally and with high hopes or by default, end up enduring this film. Entertainment Weekly magazine gave The Man a D+ grade. I think that's wrong. A D+ is a passing grade, and The Man is a complete failure.

POLITICAL NOTES: In a movie that intends a federal agency to comprise a major part of the framework for the storyline, you'd think the scriptwriters could at least get the name of the agency right! But they don't. Although the BATF has been the BATFE (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives) for several years, now, it's referenced only as BATF in the film. The movie also gets it wrong when it represents the agents as the good guys (BATFE has a terrible reputation among other federal agencies, and a worse one with gun owners — deserved on both counts). It's only wishful thinking that they'd also be as inept as the movie presents...

FAMILY SUITABILITY: The Man is rated PG-13 for "language, rude dialogue and some violence." I frankly found the entire movie offensive as an insult to my intelligence (in a scantly occupied theatre Friday night, nobody else laughed, either). As a result, I don't believe this movie is suitable for anyone of any age. Anyone old enough to follow the shallow plot line (say, 10 or so and up) is also plenty aware enough to resent having wasted the money on this drivel. I'd recommend that you go see something — anything! — else. If the kids insist, be aware that the fart jokes are harmless and the violence isn't graphic. The language does get rough in places, though, so if you find that objectionable you've another good reason to skip The Man and hold out for what we can hope is a better week for movies next week.
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A painfully unoriginal and astonishingly humorless movie ensues.
TheMovieMark9 September 2005
I like Samuel L. Jackson. Really, I do. He has enough quality movies under his belt that whenever his name is attached to a film you can at least feel there is a semblance of hope that it'll be entertaining. Then there's "Twisted." And "xXx: State of the Union." And now "The Man," which, to my surprise, is the worst offense of them all.

It was Augustine who defined evil as "the absence of the good." Well, it's Johnny Betts who is defining "The Man" as the absence of the humor. It was troubling when the audience was expected to howl with uproarious laughter over Levy mispronouncing a foreign taxi driver's name as "Bedwetter" (spelled "Bedwettier" and pronounced "Bed-wet-tee-ay"). It was beginning to look hopeless once it was obvious that the director thought Levy's pants falling down was some sort of comedic pantheon. But it started to become downright insulting when Levy informed Jackson that "red meat doesn't agree with me" right before partaking of a "tasty burger," as Jackson called it (in a desperate attempt by the director to show us how clever he is by referencing "Pulp Fiction").

You see, immediately after Levy's pants accidentally fell down and 1/5th of the audience chuckled with glee, I turned to Stephanie and said, "How long before the fart jokes come?" I didn't have to wait long to see my prophecy fulfilled. As soon as Levy announced his red meat warning, I rolled my eyes and replied, "Here we go." And there we went, indeed. Welcome to the sure-fire sign that a writer is desperate to appeal to the lowest common denominator - flatulence. Throw in a joke later about peeing in a pool and the whole trailer park goes home happy. On a positive note - at least I didn't have to worry about tending to any busted guts.

I think it's fair to say you can accurately judge how unfunny a movie is when you're so desperate to awaken your brain that you decide to quantify the laughs that the movie manages to elicit. The ultimate condemnation of "The Man's" humor comes in the fact that my number of laughs equaled zero. You read that right - I managed to keep from laughing a single time during the 83-minute runtime.

Admittedly, there are a couple of funny moments where I reluctantly smiled, and if these scenes had been in another movie then I may have laughed, but by the time these brief respites from the humorless zone arrived I was already so bored into a stupor that I just didn't have it in me to even politely chuckle.

Note to writers: When you have a joke that isn't funny then believe me when I say that using this same joke throughout the movie isn't going to magically make it a laugh riot. A bad joke doesn't automatically become a side-splitter after it's used a certain number of times. I appreciate continuity but not in this case.

Welcome to my "Worst 5" of the year list, "The Man." And welcome to the AFAP (Anything For A Paycheck) Club, Mr. Jackson. I'm sure you and Ben Kingsley will become fast friends.


I'm completely aware that plenty of audience members were laughing during this movie, but "The Man" was possibly the unfunniest theatrically released "comedy" I have seen in at least 10 years. If for some strange reason the trailer looks absolutely hilarious to you then you may enjoy the movie, but I don't dare recommend this to anyone. I wouldn't even waste my time when it is eventually airing on the USA channel 2 times a day.
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Give it a miss
jackmisc10 September 2005
You know it is bad when the best jokes are about flatulence. If you are over 25, you'll wish you saw something else. Talented actors with only glimmers of humorous opportunities. Poor execution of a bad formulaic script. There are worse movies, my wife tells me Ishtar is a "1" so this can only sink to a "3."

The other issue is that SLJ's character is played harsh and abusive in an unsuccessful attempt to be funny. This acted as a buzz kill to whatever humorous momentum Eugene Levy managed to achieve with his character.

The bad guy was convincingly menacing, but did not setup any funny exchanges.

After this, I have decided to check this site before purchasing a ticket to any more cop buddy movies.
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Crummy B-pic with comedy that sometimes works.
FeverDog7 September 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Not much to say about THE MAN (well, not much positive), but there's a really odd, homo-erotic moment when the bad guy offers Levy to check him for a body mic. When the villain makes Levy pat down his crotch he (the villain) gets this proud, pleased look on his face, like "Yeah, I'm packing a big somethin' somethin' down there, ain't I?" (There are a few other, smaller h.e. moments too, like when Levy checks out Jackson's back tattoo, and is there some sort of subtext with all the talk about being shot in the butt?)

The movie itself is poorly directed, blandly photographed, and the illegal-gun-running plot would be confusing if either the audience or the writer cared. And Sam Jackson's I.A. agent character was really unpleasant some of the time. Are we supposed to like him, or at least think he's a good cop? I dunno. It's not funny to see him repeatedly beat on the informant with garbage can lids and phone books and hit him with his car again and again, or the way he treats the local cops when they pull him over.

Some big, isolated laughs (highlight: Levy's "He's my bitch" bit), but it's less of a movie than an experiment to see how Jackson and Levy play off each other. Levy gets most of the laughs (is it an inside joke or typecasting that he's in the dental field again after WAITING FOR GUFFMAN?), but they ain't no Riggs and Murtaugh.

Oh, and would you believe the movie contains the most played-out scene in action movies: the one wherein the cop's superior demands his gun and badge. Can this please be retired, please? Since the movie looks really cheap I assume the producers got a bargain deal for it--and others--at the Movie Cliché Store. (Like, has anyone ever had their vehicle commandeered by a cop? According to cop movies, it happens all the time.)
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The Funniest Comedy of the Year In My Opinion
d3jean18 September 2005
OK, I know I'm gonna take fire from people on this site for saying this but I found this to be funnier than Wedding Crashers and 40 Year Old Virgin combined and personally will be putting this up there with my all time favorite comedies. Samuel L. Jackson and Eugene Levy star in this film about a federal agent (Jackson) who teams up with a dental supplies salesman (Levy) because a major robbery involving automatic weapons just occurred the night before which led to his dirty partner being killed and an Internal Affairs director connecting the agent to his partner's murder. So the rest of the film involves Jackson bringing Levy along for the ride do to the fact that Levy is mistaken for being the undercover agent that will bust the bad guys in this case a group of British gun running killers. The last time I laughed this hard while at the movies was for 50 First Dates over a year and a half ago so this was a breath of fresh air to go see a comedy that didn't appeal to hormone crazy adults or teenagers for that matter but instead appealed to the average action movie fan like me. The best scenes of the movie are the flatulence jokes, the pool scene, and the he's my bitch sequence towards the end. So I can say whole heartedly that I loved this movie and will be buying this on DVD when it comes out and that people looking for good solid laughs for only a short period of time should definitely run and check this out. P.S. Everyone who says this is a terrible movie and not funny obviously has an agenda against this movie for some reason and has no wide sense of humor.
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Even the Razzies wont touch this one.
FilmStalker8 October 2005
Here are some signs of a bad film: 1) The ticket booth employee says 'Wow! You're the first people to watch this today' and you are at the late night showing.

2) You have to wake up the projectionist to get the movie started.

3) There is a disclaimer before the movie asking to not throw snacks or beverages at the screen.

4) Another disclaimer appears reading that once the film starts money can not be refunded.

5) You fall asleep with your eyes open.

6) You or a friend scream out 'Please burn this print!'

All of this happened as we watched Samuel Jackson beat up Eugene Levy for kicks.
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Very funny
aharmas18 September 2005
Here comes a film, modeled after the incompatible relationship of "Midnight Run", but this one is actually funnier. What was unbearable and annoying in the other one, is hilarious here. Eugene Levy's non-stop talker drives a special agent insane with his constant reference to the goodness in people. It is refreshing how resilient his character is, managing to surprise us as the story moves on. In the end, we learn to understand his line about not ever meeting anyone who didn't become his friend. This character walks a thin line between annoying and endearing. You decide in the end.

It's a comedy of misunderstandings, with no unnecessary violent scenes or reckless car scenes full of wasteful special effects. The film works with the personalities of the main characters and the tribulations they encounter. It's got its heart in the right place and never pretends to be anything else but an amusing story between two very different people.
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film finds no audience
dennsylvania17 January 2006
WOW! What a bad movie! WOW! I didn't expect much from it, but it was even worse than I ever imagined it would be! This film reaches NO target audience. It is SO goofy, that only a little kid would find it funny, but yet it has such constant TERRIBLE language that no kid should be allowed to watch it. It should be rated R for the language and violence, yet what person over 17 would like it? It was rated PG-13, but what person 13 or older would even like it? Also, it has no cultural target audience. It badly stereotypes whites as clumsy naive dorks, and blacks as violent ghetto thugs. Who could possibly like this film? Are both Jackson and Levy THAT desperate for work that they took on this project?! I can see Levy, as he has really been typecast into having to take these roles, but Jackson could do MUCH better. If fart jokes and gunshots to the butt, intermixed with constant obscenities makes you laugh, this is your film. Buy it, you'll love it! If you have the maturity of the age level you are supposed to be to see this film, save yourself the trouble, rent something else. Rent Bevis and Butthead. At least they to sophomoric humor well... I gave it a 3 out of 10, but that was charity...
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