Real Men

Real MenSynopsis: The fate of the world is in their hands. God help us all.

James Belushi (K-9: P.I.Joe Somebody) and John Ritter (“Eight Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter”) push the comic envelope in this “genuinely off-the-wall comedy” (The Science Fiction, Horror and Fantasy Film Review) about an improbable mission between the CIA, the KGB, and of course, visitors from another planet!

The fate of the entire world lies in the hands of a brilliant, charming cad of a secret agent named Nick Pirandello (Belushi), who has to barter for global salvation with aliens seeking a highly secret glass…of water! Dire circumstances Nick to recruit naive, insecure insurance agent Bob Wilson (Ritter) as his partner, making his precarious predicament downright preposterous, as their insane mission becomes not only extra dangerous, but entirely extraterrestrial!

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Real Men 3.5

eyelights: John Ritter.
eyesores: the rest of the cast. the script. the direction.

“Who are those clowns?”

I never really wanted to see ‘Real Men’. I find Jim Belushi boring as !@#$ as much as I find John Belushi hilarious. But I picked up the DVD on a trade-in one day. I’m not sure why. I suspect that John Ritter was the reason. I can’t imagine why else.

Well, it so happens that Ritter is the only reason to watch this. And I’m recommending that you don’t, so that’s saying a lot: ‘Real Men’ is a crappy action-adventure comedy that is aimless, unfunny, poorly-directed, scripted and produced. It’s just a waste.

The plot is as follows: The United States government has been negotiating with aliens for a counteragent that will prevent the self-inflicted death of all life on Earth within five years. Unfortunately, the agent who was scheduled to meet with the aliens was murdered.

Thankfully, the CIA has found a doppelgänger in Bob (Ritter), a mild-mannered insurance agent and family man. So they send in their best agent, Nick (Belushi), a MacGyver-like hard case and womanizer to collect him and take him to the rendez-vous and save the world.

Except that there are factions within the CIA who are trying to convince them to ask the aliens for something else: a weapon that can destroy planets. And then there are the Russians, who also want to stop them. This odd couple will have their work cut out for them.

‘Real Men’ takes us all over the U.S. over the course of four days under the pretense that the pair have to try to lose their adversaries. Really, it’s a way to extend the film since the writers don’t have a meaty enough script to do it for them. It’s just killing time.

In fact, the writing is so bad that you can’t ask the question “why?’ about anything: none of the motivations make sense, none of the twists hold up, …etc. It’s all rubbish. And how much you wanna bet that they’ll become friends, learn from each other and Bob will become a fine agent?

Yeah, exactly.

This picture is so damned bad that I thought the first scene, in which Agent Pillbox (also played by Ritter) is murdered was actually a movie within a movie: the acting was dreadful and the scene was so poorly staged that I couldn’t believe it was supposed to be real.

I thought it was purposely being bad.

Alas. It was not.

Another indication of just how bad this is, is when Nick is cornered in an apartment complex by guys with machine guns (subtle!) and, to avoid them, he climbs over the door and hangs from the ceiling. Bond did it in ‘Goldfinger‘, but Nick is no Bond. Plus which he didn’t have the time.

Sigh.

Anyway, Belushi is so not a tough guy that it’s already hard to believe that he’s the CIA’s top agent. He doesn’t seem in shape, doesn’t seem that bright, and he certainly isn’t charismatic either. At first I kept thinking that the role was meant for Clint Eastwood.

Until it got goofier, that is.

But, frankly, the only scene that was kind of amusing was when, as they try to escape another round of baddies with machine guns (no rocket launchers this time!) Nick tells Bob to do like him – so Bob points his finger and goes “Bang! Bang!” each time Nick shoots.

I know, I know… it’s corny. But Ritter makes it work. And his character actually thinks it’s working because every time he points, someone goes down; he thinks the aliens are helping them. It can only work because of Ritter’s earnestness. Frankly, he’s wasted here.

Belushi isn’t.

Even if the script itself was a waste of ink.

Seriously, do yourselves a favour: move along and don’t look back.

‘Real Men’ is real crap.

Date of viewing: January 6, 2016

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