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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

April 22, 2018   |   Ithaca, NY

Life & Culture

Review: Infantile, ineffective humor hurts Netflix original

Game Over, Man!

Netflix


It’s hard to tell whether or not the audience is supposed to take “Game Over, Man!” seriously. As its title and trailer indicate, the movie is supposed to be comedic. And it is — but for all the wrong reasons.

The film follows three unqualified, childish hotel housekeepers whose daily daydreams of being rich and famous are interrupted by an ill-defined group of so-called terrorists who hold guests at a hotel party hostage. These housekeepers, Joel, nicknamed Baby Dunk (Blake Anderson), Darren (Anders Holm) and Alexxx (Adam DeVine), take it upon themselves to save the hostages. Their attempt to rescue Bae Awadi (Utkarsh Ambudkar), the Instagram celebrity hosting the party, and the other attendants is shown through intentionally unrealistic but inadvertently lame schemes. Their pathetic plans and childish humor — the veil hiding an incompletely explained animosity within the trio — make an inescapable tone of idiocy run throughout the film. As a result, the dialogue is crude, the acting atrocious and the plot humorless.

It seems that Anderson, Holm and DeVine, the creators of “Game Over, Man!” and the Comedy Central series “Workaholics,” are trying to make this film an admirable, lighthearted action comedy with elements of drama to balance out the hilarity. But in this film, it’s hard to discern between scenes meant to be funny and ones meant to be serious. Everything is a joke — and a bad one at that. How is the audience supposed to take any of the hostage scenes seriously when the leaders of the invasion aren’t the least bit intimidating? How can the audience create a bond with the lead characters when they are so unlikeable and revolting? The feigned seriousness and unsuccessful comedy that this film switches between is, intolerably, the defining feature of this film — an unfortunate quality that cannot be ignored or muted. It’s amplified in every gaudy performance given, every senseless line of dialogue spoken and every mindless decision these characters make.

This absurdity is present in the opening scene of the film. The trio enters a hotel guest’s room and finds a number of used condoms. Darren’s immediate reaction to this situation is to, obviously, get high, subsequently garbling some excessively ludicrous gibberish seconds after taking a hit. Alexxx, the trio’s dopey ringleader, takes advantage of Darren’s stupor and puts a used condom on his face and takes a picture. The film doesn’t strive to be realistic, but the ridiculousness isn’t compensated with any humor.

This scene is only laughable because it is so embarrassing. The audience that sees these disgusting attempts at humor can see that these witless jokes are too common to ignore. The brazen nature of these sex jokes is mirrored in the film’s gratuitous violence. When fighting one of the terrorists, Alexxx cuts a man’s ear off with a meat slicer in the hotel kitchen. The trio is then taken hostage in a spa by a terrorist and hit a rock wrapped in a towel. Both encounters attempt to assure the audience of their inherent humor, but they’re more uncomfortable than anything. It’s clear the writers are relishing in the frivolous and grotesque humor only they find funny. The comedy is infantile at best and adds nothing but a pitiful attempt at humor.

Instead of premiering in theaters, “Game Over, Man!” was released March 23 on Netflix. With its unbearable humor and moronic lead characters, this vapid film deserves no acclaim or admiration. Perhaps it’s best to let “Game Over, Man!” join the myriad of other failed films — a place where it can be forgotten and ignored for good.