What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Man features crude humor and ridiculous violence, involving vehicle crashes and physical abuses (trash can lids and phone books slammed into heads, and various other brutalities staged as comedy). The film premises much of its humor on the imbalance between the timid Midwestern salesman and the tough Detroit cop, including repeated discussions of who is whose "bitch" (a term also heard in a hip-hop song on the soundtrack), and other definitions of masculine prowess. The villains -- including an arrogant, young British boss -- are excessively violent as well, shooting a noncompliant client on the toilet. One black character threatens to beat another "like a runaway slave." The film includes brief gross images of bad teeth (during a presentation at a dental appliance convention), dead bodies, bad language (especially combinations of "ass," "s--t," and "f--k"), and fart/flatulence jokes. Characters smoke and drink, sell drugs.
What's the story?
Dental appliances salesman Andy Fiddler (Eugene Levy) comes to Detroit from Wisconsin for a convention. ATF Agent Derrick Vann (Samuel L. Jackson), whose partner was just killed, is working on a case involving gunrunners, headed by Joey Trent (Luke Goss). When Vann arranges an undercover buy, Fiddler is mistaken for the buyer, and Vann then needs his help on the case.
Is it any good?
The time limit on the interracial buddy-cop formula has surely expired -- and yet, THE MAN rehashes all the old jokes and inanities, bringing precious little that's entertaining or new.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about the film's use of rude jokes to get to a seemingly "family-friendly" point. Andy convinces Vann that he needs to pay attention to his young daughter (now living with her mother and stepfather). How does the movie maneuver between cop-buddy themes and PG-13 comedy themes? How do Andy's morality and idealism affect Vann's amorality and cynicism? How does the movie compare criminals and cops, so both look aggressive, self-absorbed, and small-minded?