Film Review | Game Over, Man! (2018)
Netflix Original Game Over, Man! is an action comedy film about three underachieving friends who just about get the attention of a potential investor when the hotel they work in is taken over by terrorists. It is directed and produced by Kyle Newacheck, written by Anders Holm and stars Adam Devine, Anders Holm and Blake Anderson and was released globally on Netflix on March 23, 2018.
When Netflix Original Film Game Over, Man! opens, we are introduced to ambitious and hyperactive Alexxx (Adam Devine), inventive Joel (Blake Anderson) and drug addict Darren (Anders Holm), who are cleaners in a large hotel. They have clearly been working together for a while and enjoy daydreaming about new ways to turn their lives around. Unfortunately, they have little impetus to do anything that requires motivation, preferring to mess around with drugs and taking photos instead of cleaning, though there has been a bit of tinkering with software and other ideas out of hours. We also meet their unassertive line manager Cassie and the sexist hotel boss Mitch, who are preparing for a big party taking place on the roof. The party is hosted by Instagram celebrity Bey “The Bey” Awadi. Then there’s Bey’s cagey fixer/”butler” and the Action Man style security boss.
Have you got the impression the cast of Game Over, Man! is somewhat two-dimensional yet?
Once the trio (who call themselves the “Dew Crew”) hear about the party, they agree to chip in as waiters, planning to grab some chance to pitch a product idea to Bey. They go for the “Skintendo” idea and when they meet, he seems to go for it too. But then the party turns into a hostage situation and the small talk is over. They figure they have to save the day in order to secure their deal, so the remainder of the film comprises of attempted heroics, violence (both slapstick and extremely over-the-top), sneering bad guys and one-upmanship amongst pretty much everyone.
The Netflix Original is mostly an entertaining film, but I must say I did not find most of it funny. I laughed out loud once and struggled for a while to remember what it was; turns out it was one of the hostage’s references to The Hunger Games (to her fellow potential victim: “offer yourself as a tribute!”). Game Over, Man! is absolutely riddled with references to films and games (as well as cameos from former TV stars), but that was one of the few that was not blatantly spelt out. For example, Donald Faison is one of the party guests, and a live newsfeed is used to display text showing that he was from Scrubs; and – most blatant of all – the techie in the gang of bad guys who declares “You didn’t bring me along because I look like the black nerd from Die Hard, because I don’t.”
What we have here is essentially the Workaholics gang having themselves a ball making their own ludicrous version – I’m loathed to call it a tribute – of Die Hard but forgetting to check that others would find it as funny as they do. They get to play with drugs, guns and penises; make fun of celebrity culture and gay people; carry out stunts, explosions and gory special effects. But they don’t tell jokes: nearly all the funny stuff is visual, but there is such a lot of talking that they really could have thrown in some one-liners at least. And ideally some wit. You know, like Kingsman, or even Sausage Party!
The special effects are well done, actually. Horribly realistic in places, although IMDB says this is a 15 cert, I would not want any fifteen-year-old I’ve met to watch it. I’m certain that Aliens (the probable inspiration for the title) had less gore – and certainly fewer genitals – than Netflix’s Game Over, Man! On that note, probably not best shown to vegans either. Or pet-lovers.
I would guess the ideal audience is probably those who were weaned on Die Hard and Grand Theft Auto and spend more time now with social media and Comedy Central than with well-written films. I do hope the writer and director have more breadth to them: the cast performed perfectly fine, but with uninspired material. A Scout’s Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse is on Netflix, as is Hot Fuzz, so there is plenty more (and funnier) action comedy out there.