Run Time: 1 hr 44 min
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:
Middle Man is a dark comedy/ crime drama that stars Jim O’Heir, Andrew West, Josh McDermitt, and Anne Dudek and was written/directed by Ned Crowley. In this quirky film you have Lenny (Jim O’Heir) a socially awkward accountant that has recently lost his mother and after her death decides to quit his job as a CPA and travel to Las Vegas to start a career as a stand-up comedian. Along the way he encounters Hitch (Andrew West) and what he hoped would be a pit stop in a sleepy town, turns into an encounter that changes his life forever. But did we really need to go on this ride with him or were we held captive by a film that wasn’t worth our time?
Eventually you will find that I am a fan of movies that stray from the main stream and go off the beaten path and this film is anything but typical. It has that type of dark humor that was present in Natural Born Killers (Oliver Stone, 1994) and Drowning Mona (Nick Gomez, 2000) where you are not sure if you should laugh and might even question your own sanity if you do. There is also a Twin Peaks charm to it that really gives your brain a work out because you cannot decide what is real and what is not. These type of films tend to keep you engaged but at the same time you feel like you need a bath after watching them.
I was not a fan of this movie. While I enjoyed the out of the box nature of the screenplay, there have been so many other films that have pulled off the “mind trick with a surprise ending” cliche so much better. What could have been a wow movie turned into something that was so confusing at times that my brain just said “f&ck it! I’m not about to try to understand what is going on” and just shut down. There was no need for it to be almost 2 hours long and it felt so stretched out and long-winded for no good reason. This could have been one of those cute little mini films they show in the movie theater prior to the previews that are directed by film school students, Chet and Robbie.
The performances were not very strong either. They were laughable at times becauseall they were very over the top, especially for what this screenplay called for. Now this could have been an intentional direction but that doesn’t mean it worked. These performances only added to my confusion because I could not determine if this was supposed to be a parody or were they really making a dark comedy with exaggerated portrayals of common character traits in these types of movies. Ya gurl was just lost honey! I was so so lost!
I hate to say that I did not like this movie especially since my father suggested I watch it because he enjoyed it so much but….chiiiile I just could not take it. There was way too much possible symbolism and while there were a couple of funny moments, the dark comedy thing just did not work. So this Sista Gurl suggests you go check out Identity ( 2003) or even Fight Club (1999) for the right kind of cinematic mind f&ck. I may go back and watch this film again to make sure I am not missing anything and I will gladly post a recant if that happens but until then…stay away from this one. You’ve been warned!