Movie Review by Susannah Macklin
Starring: Jon Favreau, Vince Vaughn, Peter Falk, Famke Janssen, Jennifer Bransford
Director: Jon Favreau
Bobby (Jon Favreau) is a down on his luck amateur boxer who has to make a living through minding and driving his stripper girlfriend (Famke Janssen) to her various jobs. He’s a straight down the middle kinda guy with no money but plenty of time and loyalty as they struggle to make ends meet. So when mob boss Max (Peter Falk) approaches Bobby to make some quick and easy cash by doing a job for him he’s tempted but only if his likeable, rogue, best friend Ricky (Vince Vaughn) can help out. If Bobby is the unassuming kindly one, then Ricky is the mad, disorganised nutjob! A fast-talking, no holds barred wise guy – he always seems to be getting himself into trouble as does Bobby’s loyalty! The guys head to New York on Max’s instructions and have to remain on call – though neither are quite sure what the job is that they’re there to do! However one thing is key – that they stay low and don’t draw too much attention to themselves. But as they’re thrown into the champagne gangster lifestyle led by Ruiz (Sean Combs aka P. Diddy) Ricky just can’t keep his fingers out of the pie and it’s up to Bobby to clean up after him and get the job done without upsetting the underworld!
Whether or not you’ve seen the fantastic forerunner to this movie – SWINGERS, really doesn’t matter because this is a hilarious and superb piece of work in its own right. It’s an intelligent comedy drama with bags of charisma aided only by first rate performances from the ever brilliant Vaughn and writer/director/actor Favreau who proves that he is a highly competent all-rounder. That Favreau chooses to work with many of the same Hollywood family brood time and time again doesn’t make for the usual nepotistic studio rot. His comedy timing when pitched against Vaughn (and vice versa) is astounding and the two make for a great double act. Equally it’s good to see a guy casting his female lead because of a genuine rapport and not because he wants a quick tumble in her Hollywood hills!
If you saw Favreau and Janssen in dismal romantic comedy LOVE & SEX – then please accept our sincere condolences but DON’T be put off this team again! You’ll be missing out on huge talent and a movie great. In fact – this is about as good as filmmaking gets.