Dave White
Middle Men Review

Dave's Rating:


Porn is really bad, y'all. Seriously.

Who's In It: Luke Wilson, Giovanni Ribisi, Gabriel Macht, James Caan, Jacinda Barrett, Kevin Pollak, Laura Ramsey, Rade Serbedzija, Terry Crews, Kelsey Grammer, Robert Forster

The Basics: Luke Wilson is a bland corporate executive in the 1990s who, with the help of two idiot tech weirdos (Giovanni Ribisi and Gabriel Macht, who never stop shouting, sweating, snorting cocaine or ACTING), comes up with the prototype system for billing people to watch porn online. Soon enough he finds himself surrounded by more money than he knows what to do with. He also finds himself surrounded by lowlifes, mobsters, thieves, murderers, drug addicts and porn stars. Then, just in time, he learns his lesson about how family is the most important thing of all. But the most important thing you need to know is that you can save yourself the trouble of watching it and just check out Goodfellas instead. That's the one it's trying so hard and failing to emulate.

What's The Deal: Maybe if it weren't two solid hours long. Maybe if those two hours didn't feel like three. Maybe if it didn't feature ham-fisted scenes of crazy obviousness, like people signing contracts only to have those papers soiled by drops of blood from their guilty noses. Maybe if human beings acted like human beings here (weirdest example: Wilson's wife Jacinda Barrett is suddenly full of psychic powers and able, just by looking at him, to call out her husband for cheating on her.) Maybe if the main porn star character was an actress who hadn't shown up on set with a no-nudity clause in her contract so she'd just get naked the way every single other person playing a porn star in the movie does. Maybe if all the characters, both big and small, weren't the most reductive "type" you've seen a million times already. Maybe if it acknowledged any sort of gray area between the purity and goodness of suburban family life and the evil sordid lives of people in the porn business. I know that's a lot of maybes. I have more. I just don't have the space to type them all out.

Best/Worst Line Of Tell-You-Instead-Of-Show-You Luke Wilson Narration In A Movie Choked With Tons Of Tell-You-Instead-Of-Show-You Luke Wilson Narration: "It was like I was living in two different worlds that were thousands of miles apart." Because, you know, he was living in two different worlds. It's almost as good as the line where he tells his porn star mistress how wrong it is that she's a porn star. Later, when she comes unglued and demonstrates how damaged and needy she is, he gets to be right. It's so satisfying when Luke Wilson gets to be right.

Another Way It Rips Off Goodfellas And All Other Scorsese Movies Ever Made: The Rolling Stones songs. They use "Sympathy for The Devil" during the we're-living-it-up-with-porn-and-drugs-and-cash moments and then "You Can't Always Get What You Want" for the big redemption part. During these moments, in select cinemas, the ushers will run around with giant mallets and bonk you on the head with them to make sure you get the deep meaning. That's not a feature that comes with a Blu-Ray, so make the effort to get to the multiplex, won't you?


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