Movie Review
The Man
The Man poster
By Lee Tistaert     Published September 10, 2005
US Release: September 9, 2005

Directed by: Les Mayfield
Starring: Samuel L. Jackson , Eugene Levy , Luke Goss

PG-13
Running Time: 83 minutes
Domestic Box Office: $8,326,035
D+
120 of 143
This is one of the worst screenplays I?ve ever been in the presence of.
Once in a while you?ll watch a movie and pose the painful question: ?If this script can get produced, then what can?t?? While watching this complete piece of garbage, I was quite interested to look at the screenplay to see what was actually written on each page; but I was also nervous about finding out. I was listening to the dialogue ? if you can call it that ? and I couldn?t believe that this material got Samuel L. Jackson and Eugene Levy on board, let alone that the two talents would lower themselves to this pathetic, insulting level (although, Levy is now on strike two since New York Minute, and Jackson also did Formula 51). If there ever were a sign that the apocalypse was near in regard to the state of movies, The Man would be it.

Eugene Levy stars as Andy, a salesman (with a specialty in teeth utensils) who is mistaken for someone else in a diner and accidentally gets involved with a criminal who hands him a bag with a gun in it (and who flees from the scene). A special agent (Derrick) played by Samuel L. Jackson enters the diner as Andy is waving around the gun in a panic (unaware as to what was in the bag), and Derrick arrests him but realizes that Andy wasn?t meant to be in that position ? Derrick was. Derrick takes him along under his wing to track down this criminal and get matters straight.

This movie is downright pointless. In case you?re wondering, the title ?The Man? refers to the individual who was to be at the ?drop,? which allows Andy to be considered ?the man? for having been there, whereas Derrick was supposed to be ?the man.? And you can be prepared for various scenes in which that basic notion is the butt of the jokes (and the idea of one?s butt and its functions is also used as a running gag?and I don?t think you need many guesses as to what I?m getting at). If you didn?t at least crack a smile at the mentioning of these details, you might be a little ahead of its intellect. I was reminded of a scene at the end of Billy Madison in which a judge at a contest informs Billy that everyone in the room was now dumber for having been in his presence ? he couldn?t have nailed my thoughts about this movie with any better precision.

This is one of the ultimate definitions of a ?paycheck? flick for its talent but is even worse than the norm. Levy embarrasses himself by whining throughout the whole movie while Jackson plays the typical straight man who can?t stand his sidekick (there is even a scene in which the two argue about which one of them is the other?s ?bitch,? and is one of the bigger comedic bits).

There?s no question that this genre has been dreadfully overdone, but even I enjoyed the first Rush Hour (B) due to the chemistry between Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan and the consistency of jokes. Jackson and Levy have no chemistry whatsoever and you can tell that they do not want to be here (and you almost want to know what they're thinking as they're being forced to carry on in every scene). This is one of the worst screenplays I?ve ever been in the presence of, and I was even having a tough time deciding which movie was worse: this or A Sound of Thunder (D+), or ? gasp ? New York Minute (D+). The Man is inarguably one of the worst things Hollywood could ever produce.
Lee's Grade: D+
Ranked #120 of 143 between Elektra (#119) and Dukes of Hazzard (#121) for 2005 movies.
Lee's Overall Grading: 2754 graded movies
A0.4%
B30.5%
C61.4%
D7.7%
F0.0%
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'The Man' Articles
  • Scott's review D+
    September 16, 2005    You will rack your brain trying to figure out how someone actually doled out money to create this thing. -- Scott Sycamore