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THE MAN (R) (2005)

New Line Cinema

Official Site

Director: Les Mayfield

Producers: Robert N. Fried, Bill Straus

Written by: Jim Piddock, Margaret Oberman, Stephen Carpenter

Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Eugene Levy, Miguel Ferrer, Luke Goss

Rating: -

Anyone remember the days where we had some good buddy action movies like 48 Hours? Well I don’t because I wasn’t around yet, but watching a movie like The Man certainly made me wish I could. This new feature is pretty symbolic of how much Master Jackson’s career has degenerated in playing such a complete and utterly ridiculous caricature of himself and his past roles. Dave Chappelle nailed it rather excellently with, “No, I won’t stop yelling! This is how I talk!”

And so Jackson is relegated to playing yet another tough hard-ass who likes to curse and say things like, “I’ll beat you like a runaway slave!” or better yet, “It’s a tasty burger.” I shit you not. It’s even much, much worse than when Jackson replaced Richard Roundtree in Shaft. And sorry Mr. Jackson, but you are not the man who would risk his neck for his brother man.

In this movie, which looks like it was shot last weekend, Andy Fidler (Levy) is a dental supply salesman from Wisconsin. He’s in Detroit for a day for a convention involving his business. Unfortunately for him, and all of us, he gets mixed up in a gun deal set up by ATF agent Derrick Vann (Jackson). Vann’s trying to get back some stolen guns in a heist his late and dirty partner was involved in, and Fidler is mistaken as a buyer for the guns by dealer Joey Trent (Goss, formerly of the Bros). So of course Vann keeps getting stuck with using Fidler as his partner. And Fidler must try and crack Vann’s rough exterior and teach him to trust and love again! How sweet.

There’s no plot anywhere in this less than an hour and a half of pure, unmitigated torture. It’s all about the unorthodox pairing of Levy and Jackson, most of the material being more annoying than funny, unless you find Jackson reacting out of disgust from Levy’s flatulence in his car funny.

If you work with the ACLU, I’d recommend filing a lawsuit against director Les Mayfield, screenwriters Piddock, Oberman, and Carpenter as well as New Line Cinema for their encouragement and glorification in depicting excessive amounts of police brutality. Just kidding, but seriously, I can only watch Jackson roughing up his suspects and running them down with his pimpmobile so many times. Sammy, it’s not 1994 anymore. You’re pushing 60, and its time to grow up.

To the readers, your hard-earned money is best spent elsewhere. Cowboy Bebop: Remix is due out on Tuesday you know?

—Jeffrey “The Vile One” Harris

hybridCinema Ratings Guide:

Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.

Itís worth a full-price ticket.

Itís worth a matinee ticket.

Wait for video rental.

Check out the video from the library, if you must.

While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...

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