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Film Review: ‘Game Over, Man!’

The 'Workaholics' stars mix gross humor and violence for varying results in this dim action comedy tribute to 'Die Hard.'

Director:
Kyle Newacheck
With:
Adam Devine, Anders Holm, Blake Anderson, Utkarsh Ambudkar

A dumbed-down “Die Hard” tribute debuting on Netflix, Kyle Newacheck’s “Game Over, Man!” is a movie full of bodily fluids and violence, centered on three dopey hotel housekeepers with terrible ideas of how to achieve their ideas of getting rich who choose the worst possible time to pitch one of their harebrained ideas to a playboy investor — just as a well-armed squad of thieves takes over the high-rise where they work. “Boys will be boys,” says their boss in an early scene, laughing off their unprofessional behavior. But their conduct does not improve, and neither does this action comedy riddled with pop culture references.

When the audience meets these mischievous scamps, they’re goofing off in a guest’s room. Alexxx (Adam Devine), the group’s dimwitted ringleader, is an ambitious showman who gets frustrated when his comrades don’t always go along with his schemes. He’s quick to exploit Darren (Anders Holm), the least fussy of the slackers, by feeding into his friend’s drug addiction. The defining characteristic of the much more reserved Joel (Anderson) is that he takes great pains to pretend he’s straight. Let loose in a hotel full of similarly ridiculous characters, including their former-football-player boss (Daniel Stern) and uptight wannabe manager (Aya Cash), and there are clearly no grown-ups in charge.

When the immature trio hear that Bey Awadi (Utkarsh Ambudkar), a billionaire social-media influencer known as “The Bey,” is coming to throw a swanky party at their hotel, Alexxx quickly thinks up of a plan to get them within pitching distance of the VIP guest at his exclusive party, slipping in easily as hotel staff bringing the hors d’oeurves. As it happens, Bey is even more juvenile than they are, and he’s quickly hooked into their idea for the “Skintendo Joysuit,” a VR-video game suit that can be used to control the suit’s wearer.

However, their manager overhears them and fires them on the spot, kicking them out just as a group of hitmen invade the hotel. The goons begin taking hostages, threatening to kill celebrities (goodbye Steve-O and Donald Faison) until their demands are met, leaving Alexxx, Darren, and Joel to hamfistedly fight back, dropping, throwing, or tripping the bad guys to their doom.

Fans of “Workaholics,” the Comedy Central show which launched the careers of the movie’s stars and director, might still enjoy their mid-2000s sense of gross-out humor. Although the three main actors do step away from the characters they played for almost a decade, they haven’t developed their jokes quite as much. The group still seems to find gay panic funny, full-frontal nudity provocative, and anything beyond traditional sexual intercourse outrageous, while assuming that people of color must be enjoying all the sex they’re not having.

The only area where the movie exceeds is in how much cartoonish violence they can squeeze into the plot without making it a horror movie. There are some truly cringe-worthy moments for even the strongest of stomachs, including one where a deli meat slicer is used to slowly chisel away the side of a man’s face. When Alexxx grimaces in horror, so might the audience.

Yet the movie sometimes undermines its own punchline by pointing out the preposterous outcomes of these gruesome scenes. After something small is blown up and gallons of blood come spilling toward the hostages, one character draws attention to the massacre, asking if they saw how much blood was spilled. It’s the visual equivalent of Jimmy Fallon laughing at his own jokes.

“Game Over, Man!” is a movie with few original ideas, plenty of tropes, and not enough love for the Bill Paxton “Aliens” character who made its eponymous catchphrase popular. Viewers who don’t mind the edgier sex jokes or violence may delight in the kind of hijinks too extreme for Comedy Central executives. Considering that “Game Over, Man!” is debuting on Netflix, it’s not impossible to imagine the movie finding a following, since the streaming service’s comedy roster is filled with male comedians playing stunted adults.

Film Review: 'Game Over, Man!'

Reviewed online, New York, March 21, 2018.

Production: A Netflix release of a Mail Order Company, Point Grey, Netflix Film production. Producers: Anders Holm, Adam Devine, Blake Anderson, Kyle Newacheck, Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, James Weaver, Scott Rudin, Eli Bush​. Executive producer: Ted Gidlow.

Crew: Director: Kyle Newacheck. Screenplay: Anders Holm; story: Holm, Adam Devine, Blake Anderson, Newacheck. Camera (color): Grant Smith. Editor: Evan Henke. Music: Steve Jablonsky.

With: Adam Devine, Anders Holm, Blake Anderson, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Jamie Demetriou, Aya Cash, Daniel Stern, Neal McDonough, Rhona Mitra, Sam Richardson, Steve Howey, Jillian Bell.

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