Reviewed by GREG KING

Director: Jon favreau

Stars: Jon Favreau, Vince Vaughn, Peter Falk, Famke Janssen, Sean Coombs.

Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn first burst on to the scene with Swingers, their hip, independently financed comedy about the slacker’s lifestyle. Since then their careers have taken different directions. While Vaughn has gone on to mainstream stardom in big budget features like The Lost World: Jurassic Park 2, The Cell and the thriller Domestic Disturbance, etc, Favreau’s career seems to have stalled in a series of unreleased, low budget films. Favreau has also turned his hand to directing, and he makes his feature film directorial debut with this low key comic crime film.

This low budget comedy about two wanna-be gangsters re-unites the pair, but ultimately Made lacks the charm, wit, easygoing style and appeal of Swingers.

Favreau and Vaughn play Bobby and Ricky, two charmless, life-long friends and amateur boxers who long to be treated with respect by gangster boss Max (Peter Falk). Bobby also doubles as a bodyguard for his stripper wife Jessica (Famke Janssen), and tends to keep a watchful eye on the volatile Ricky (Vaughn). The two are sent to New York to oversee a meeting with a drug dealer (Sean Coombs, aka P Diddy, the artist formerly known as Puff Daddy). But Ricky’s volatile and self-centred nature always get the pair in trouble and threatens to blow this one final chance at redemption.

Bobby and Ricky are a thoroughly unlikable duo, and neither Favreau nor Vaughn seem able to make the pair attractive. Vaughn’s egotistical, hot headed Ricky gets most of the film’s best moments, but he is such a disturbingly unhinged character that he becomes almost unbearable. For that matter, none of the characters are particularly likeable, and the performers struggle to find many redeemable features.

Ultimately this uneven and unfunny comedy tries too hard to wring laughs out of its thin material. Pop cultural references abound, and there are some clever cameos from much of the cast of The Sopranos, but the film is unsuccessful in its efforts to recapture the same spirit and atmosphere of Swingers. Much of the dialogue seems improvised, and it soon becomes clear that some of the ensemble cast have problems without a script to fall back on.

After watching this indulgent, ultimately pointless and misogynistic paean to machismo and testosterone laden male bonding, only one question remains – how on earth did Made ever get made?




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