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The Man (PG-13)

Release Date: September 9th, 2005 by New Line Cinema.
The Cast: Samuel L. Jackson, Eugene Levy, Luke Gross.
Directed by Les Mayfield.

BASIC PREMISE: Andy (Levy), a dental equipment salesman, is mistaken for a dangerous gun dealer and subsequently arrested, Special Agent Derrick Vann (Jackson) forces him to hunt down the real gun dealers.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: When this movie tries to be a comedy--which is most of the time--it often succeeds. It is mostly a comedy of errors that work mainly because of the perfect casting of Levy as Andy, the talkative salesman, and Jackson as the tough special agent. Every scene with Andy is hilarious just by looking at his weird facial expressions. Despite his stupidity, he is likeable because he is simply very offbeat. The plot is very silly and contrived, but who really cares about it when the characters are having so much fun? This is like a long series of small comedy bits that don't make much sense in end, but are just a lot of pure fun. It is easy to forget that Andy has to speak at a convention two days after his arrest. When the movie tries to become a drama, it fails. For example, it turns out that Derrick has to be more of a father to his cute little daughter by attending her show. After these failed dramatic attempts, there are more attempts for comedy. Fortunately, both Levy and Jackson have enough comic energy and spark to enliven this silly film and make it every scene entertaining--as long as they are together, which is fortunately quite often.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: There are no moving or thought-provoking scenes, but none are required or desired.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None, as long as you check your brain at the door. However, if you don't, the old, recycled fart jokes make the humor very low brow and even infantile. Fart jokes are simply a cop-out for writing truly funny and original humor. The plot is predictable and contrived.


THE BOTTOM LINE: Its very silly, contrived plot is very forgivable given how funny it is most of the time. It also tremendously helps that Levy and Jackson are very funny together--except for a few fart jokes. Their fans will be thoroughly entertained without requiring them to think too much--which is okay, every now and then!

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)

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