The Good

Eugene Levy and Samuel L. Jackson have some funny moments.

The Bad

Very bad, recycled humor.

The Man is one of those movies that on paper should have been a big hit. You put the comic talents of Eugene Levy and Samuel L. Jackson together and it would seem to spell comedy gold. Unfortunately, what works on paper doesn't always work in practice. Levy plays Andy Fiddler, a nebbish sort, who has the gift of gab. When he is mistaken for an arms dealer, Agent Vann (Jackson) decides to use this mistake to his advantage. The only problem is that Fiddler must now be the Man. He's got to talk tough, act tough and BE tough. The biggest problem is that this just isn't who Fiddler is. Well, the movie pretty much follows the standard formula with both Vann and Fiddler learning about one another and most importantly themselves.

The biggest problem with The Man is that we have seen this movie before. Also, watching the supplemental features I know they had to keep this movie in the PG-13 realm. As a result, this film isn't able to break any new ground. I am not saying that a movie needs to be lude and crude in order to do that, but it just seems that a movie like this (which is obviously made by a committee) cannot help but get a bit homogenized. The end result is a movie that only works in parts when it could have worked all the way through.

Features

Bloopers and Outtakes

This is a series of messed up lines and scenes that the actors did. This is cut together in a quick manner so that comedy keeps coming. As I often say about these kinds of things, what makes them so funny is how the actor will be doing something in character, they will mess up a line, then they become themselves. Seeing that transformation is what I find to be the most interesting.

Deleted and Alternate Scenes

There are 5 of these types of scenes. Some of their titles are "Andy and the Flight Attendant," "Jail Scene," and "Original Trash Can Scene." These were entertaining to watch but I don't think that they really added or took away from the movie. Also, they are put together with all the sound and image work of the film itself, and as a result they look really good.

Sam Jackson's Guide To Cursing Like A Bad Mouthaf%*$^*!

This is essentially of breakdown of how they made this movie PG-13 considering that they were going to be having a lot of bad language. As I mentioned above, I think they got too caught up in trying to please the ratings board, and as a result they compromised their movie. At the very least, if they had made this film more gritty it could have been like 48 Hrs. instead of Another 48 Hrs..

Who's The Man?

This featurette looks at Eugene Levy's character. He talks about his role, other cast and crew members talk about his role (and their roles), and it really seems like a "love in" when they all work together. Nothing too flashy here, the character and the concept of the film are broken down so that no stone is left unturned.

Making An Action Scene

This is a fairly in-depth look at the final action scene of The Man. From the ground up we are shown how action of this nature is pulled off. From the explosions, the wiring of squibs, to coordinating the final shoot-out, it is really interesting seeing how a scene like this is pulled off. In fact, I honestly think that this section is the most interesting part of this DVD.

The Ride: A Look At the '83 Cadillac

Lastly, we find out in this featurette that the car used in the movie was Samuel L. Jackson's idea. They also go on to explain not only how the car was to be utilized in the film, but how many cars they had and how they had to buy them from a lowrider club in Toronto. With Samuel L. Jackson driving that particular car and Eugene Levy sitting shotgun, this movie plays at times like a more comedic Training Day.

Video

Presented in a format preserving the 1.85:1 Aspect Ratio of it's Theatrical Exhibition. Enhanced for Widescreen TVs. Since this movie was going for not only mainstream success, but success as a family film, it stands to reason that they would have wanted to make this movie appeal to it's largest possible audience. What this means essentially is that nothing you are going to see on screen should be too jarring. Truthfully, a person like Steven Soderbergh making this movie would have been all wrong. It is basically a light movie with some rough language. The transfer and compression are very clean and clear, and it's exactly what you might expect from a family friendly film.

Audio

Dolby Digital DTS - English: 5.1 Surround Sound - English: Stereo Surround Sound - English and Spanish Subtitles - Close Captioned (Feature Only). This movie has a buoyancy to it that light films of this nature often employ. I guess because this movie presents itself as a comedy, I probably shouldn't be so hard on it. I would just think that Levy and Jackson with nothing left to prove, could be a bit more daring when they work together.

Package

The cover here has Jackson holding a gun with his other hand over Levy's mouth. From what I remember, this was the same image used for the poster of this movie. The back gives us more shots from the film (playing up the nerd and cool guy angles), a well written description of what this film is about, an "Extra Features" listing, a cast list and some technical specs. At the end of the day, the comedic front cover design should be enough to entice people who missed this film in the theater.

Final Word

I know that Eugene Levy must really like these roles (lord knows he's played enough of them), but I would love to see him tackle something dramatic. Imagine him as a creepy bad guy? Not even in a movie about a plot to blow up the world. I am talking about him as lets say a creepy neighbor? (Think Robin Williams as Uncle Sy in One Hour Photo.) It would just be great to see him play a role other than the nerd or the white guy acting like a fool. He is someone who can very easily do comedy, so it stands to reason that he would have a good grasp of the other side of the spectrum.

All in all, The Man is a movie that I don't think I can really recommend. Maybe as a rental... but there have been other mistaken identity movies before that have been rated PG and been much better executed than this one.

The Man was released September 8, 2005.