Game Over, Man!
Directed by: Kyle Newacheck
Written by: Anders Holm (screenplay), Anders Holm, Kyle Newacheck, Adam Devine, Blake Anderson (story)
Starring: Adam Devine, Anders Holm, Blake Anderson, Daniel Stern, Neal McDonough, Rhona Mitra, Chloe Bridges, Andrew Bachelor
When Game Over, Man!‘s credit sequence starts and Adam Devine, Anders Holm and Blake Anderson walk down the hallway of the hotel where they work as room-cleaning staff straight towards the camera in slow motion as New Level by A$AP Ferg (Feat. Future) blares on the soundtrack, you probably feel entitled to assume you already know the kind of movie you are about to watch. And that is almost the case, only worse.
This may be a Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg production (their first foray into Netflix’s new age of Content) but it becomes immediately apparent that it wants to move, talk and feel like a vintage Todd Phillips film (anything pre-Hangover, before he started filming demo reels to convince studios he can direct action blockbusters). Whether that’s good news or bad news is entirely up to you.
Sure, we’ve been treated to white dudes cluelessly trying to appropriate hip-hop culture in Rogen / Goldberg efforts like The Watch and Superbad and their entire oeuvre up till now has dealt almost entirely with guys bonding, bickering and eventually making peace with each other from a completely masculine perspective (a so-called bromance, if you will). Rogen and Rudd riffing on the “You know how I know you’re gay?” line, pretty much all discussions between Cera and Hill, Baruchel feeling sidelined by his friend in This is the End; these are all tales of men-children and their vicissitudes but always completely open and available for anyone who dared or wanted to peek in.
What the starring trio and director Kyle Newacheck have concocted here (although only Holm gets screenwriting credit) goes beyond and well into Frat Pack territory. And then beyond again. Phillips never had any real interest whatsoever in capturing the female demographic’s attention (as abundantly proven by Elisha Cuthbert’s Lolita in Old School or Brande Roderick’s breasts gratuitously displayed in Starsky & Hutch), but Game Over, Man! seems intent on not only being obnoxiously misogynistic but openly hostile. Perhaps the “boys will be boys” hijinks could have been forgivable if the movie were actually funny but it is not. It is painfully, pathetically, unfunny.
Wrapped up in a “Die Hard In…” pitch, the movie takes place in a hotel taken over by a group of criminals demanding ransom for a billionaire known as “The Bey” and follows the three friends’ subsequent exploits while trying to fight back. The black computer expert says at the beginning, “You didn’t bring me here because I look like the black computer expert from Die Hard, did you?”. They recreate certain events (ie. jumping out of a window using a zip line and swinging back down into a lower floor room, their first somewhat accidental kill is the boyfriend of the most dangerous assassin who consequently seeks revenge) but there is no meta twist or satirical deconstruction. They simply loved the ’88 classic and wrote it in.
There is an overabundance of penises: dangling in a fake autoerotic asphyxiation scenario, handled by Daniel Stern, chopped off and bloody, after suffering an unexpected penectomy, crudely drawn on Rhona Mitra’s cheek after one of her disgruntled henchmen decides to get even. The joke in every instance is watching a penis onscreen. Ha. Near the end, Blake Anderson confesses his homosexuality and instantly, after an entire movie of playing a standard dudebro, he morphs into the most offensively stereotypical effeminate gay man since Mannequin‘s Hollywood Montrose.
This movie is relentlessly idiotic in the least gleeful way possible and the constant cameos of recognizable faces (Steve-O, Chris Pontius, Donald Faison, Fred Armisen, Jillian Bell, Joel McHale, Mark Cuban, Shaggy) and their willingness to appear in this drivel makes it even more depressing. Game Over, Man! ends with a cliffhanger that threatens a sequel but the title sums up my feelings about it. It’s game over. — Eloy Ricardo Balderas Salazar