Film review: The Man (2005), directed by Les Mayfield
Andy Fiddler (Eugene Levy), is a dental supplies salesman. He’s overly friendly and a bit socially awkward and, shall we say, clueless. He goes from a Small Town to the Big City to attend a dental supplies conference.
Meanwhile, Big City “I don’t do things by the book” cop Derrick Vann (Samuel L Jackson) is trying to bust an illegal arms dealer with the blessing of the local police force (Susie Essman), while internal affairs – headed by Miguel Ferrer (“War: it’s fan-tas-tic!”) – are suspecting him of murdering his partner, and so on.
Vann sets up a meeting with one of the arms dealer’s henchmen (Luke Goss), and as luck would have it, identities are mistaken. Instead of undercover cop, Henchman gives the bag with the “taster” gun to Andy Fiddler, who ends up trying to pretend to be an arms dealer himself, as the dealers now believe he’s the contact, and not Vann, who has to keep using him. Comedy ensues.
Well, I say comedy. Bits of it is funny, other bits are more cringeworthy. Levy is basically still playing his character of “the dad” from the American Pie trilogy, Jackson is playing the same sort of role he’s normally playing, which kind of also goes for Goss. (A British guy playing a baddie? Surely not!)
The comedy comes from hard-boiled Jackson and dweeby Levy being polar opposites and in true buddy movie style, they need to overcome their differences and work together, aww. It’s amusing for a bit, but as a film in itself, it’s forgettable. In fact, when I saw this post in the list of drafts, I thought to myself, “The Man? Now which one was that? Oh, right yeah.” Considering I only watched it about four days ago, that’s pretty bad!
At least the acting is good, the run time just short of 90 minutes.
3 out of 5 mistaken identities.