Director: Kyle Newacheck
Cast: Adam Devine, Anders Holm, Blake Anderson
Watch Game Over, Man! online in the UK: Netflix UK
“Boys will be boys,” chuckles hotel manager Mitch (Daniel Stern), as he hears of three male employees in trouble at work, after a situation involving a condom, some drugs and a smartphone camera. Yes, we’re meant to chuckle, boys will be boys, as Mitch then goes on to harass hard-working employee Cassie (Aya Cash). It’s a clear signpost from the makers of Game Over, Man! of what’s in store over the coming 90 minutes. The film doesn’t improve from there.
Our three heroes – and the term is used in the loosest possible sense – are Alexxx (Adam Devine), an idiot who’s all ideas and no follow-through, Darren (Anders Holm), who spends his life not caring about anything except drugs, and Joel (Blake Anderson), who is desperately pretending to be straight. To say that they each overcome their immediate obstacles by the end of the film is hardly a spoiler, because Game Over, Man! is as formulaic as they come – but the real problem is that we simply don’t care whether they do or don’t. These three immature man-children remain three immature man-children come the end credits, making them entirely unlikeable. Their sole claim to charm is that they’re grossed out by (and yet seemingly obsessed with) penises. If you put the film into a computer, the word “dick” would probably make up 60% of the screenplay. That might be fine for teenage boys looking for cheap laughs in the 90s, but in 2018, it’s not only outdated and lazy, it’s also painfully unfunny.
The team behind Workaholics apparently disagree, and so we end up with a Die Hard parody that sees the three hotel waiters saving the day during a surprise hostage situation. Not because they want to help other people, of course, but because they want to get the chief hostage – the Bey of Tunisia, also an Insta-celeb (Utkarsh Ambudkar) – to fund their remote-controlled gaming body suit, called (wait for it) the “Skintendo Joysuit”.
Community and Workaholics director Kyle Newacheck has some fun unleashing some truly violent set pieces along the way. (Two words: exploding necklaces.) A couple of moments he constructs are really quite impressive, from a close encounter between a face and a meat-carving machine to a sequence involving an ironing board. But for every audacious flourish involving a fish tank, there’s a hefty dose of stereotypical gay hysteria, or a bit where Daniel Stern’s male parts are messily chopped off – when you’ve sunk to dismembering the ageing stars of Home Alone to get a laugh, you know you’re in trouble. (Let’s not even start on a guest appearance by Shaggy, which comes straight from the Ted playbook of using cameos in place of actual jokes.)
All of this is stitched together by a commendably enthusiastic trio – Devine, in particular, doesn’t show any hesitation in committing to the physicality of what’s required – but their performances can’t cover up the lack of wit, originality or intelligence behind the script. It wants to be the new 22 Jump Street, but every time it should be leaping up a platform, Game Over, Man! just levels down to the lowest common denominator.
Game Over, Man! is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £8.99 monthly subscription.