‘Game Over, Man!’ Review: Netflix’ Action Spoof Delivers Knowing Laughs

Game Over, Man! is the story of three housekeepers working in a swanky hotel who aim to striking it rich. When a wealthy guest throws a huge party, they take the opportunity to reach for their dreams by pitching him their idea for an innovative gaming system. Tragedy strikes when their manager intercepts the start-up investment check and things immediately take a turn for the worst when a group of terrorists show up with their own demands. It’s now up to these three unlikely heroes to figure out how to save the day and not end up casualties in the process.

Viewers will recognize the talent behind and in front of the camera from Comedy Central’s Workaholics. Director Kyle Newacheck shares creator credit with the movie’s stars Blake Anderson, Adam Devine, and Anders Holm. They play Joel, the shy and technically adept one, Alexxx (this is not a typo, it’s spelled with three x’s), the extremely immature and useless one, and Darren, the big idea and creative one. The three seem to be at different levels of arrested development, the most prominent case being Alexxx, who just seems to want to undermine every action the other two take to solve their problems. Especially when his feelings are hurt. Considering their previous collaborations, it’s no surprise that this trio work well together and have great on-screen rapport and it’s fun to see them squabble when situations get tense. They’re somehow completely despicable yet charming at the same time.

The stand-out among the cast is Utkarsh Ambudkar who portrays Bae Awadi, the Tunisian prince with more money than sense. Awadi feels like the cartoon character of a man-child, and every one of his lines is delivered in an overconfident manner that just screams “I’m surprisingly uncouth considering my status.” He’s your typical loud-mouthed, vulgar, bro who cares much more about getting followers on Instagram than he does about being fiscally responsible, much to the chagrin of his attaché Mr. Ahmad, played by Jamie Demetriou. Awadi takes pleasure in making Mr. Ahmad uncomfortable every chance he gets. In fact, the more Mr. Ahmad doesn’t want him to do something, the greater chance Awadi will do it out of spite. Their chemistry is also impressive, and one can’t help but take Mr. Ahmad’s side as Awadi continually disses him and dismisses his advice.

The most surprising element was the quality of the visual effects. Details about the production budget couldn’t be located, but typically movies of this caliber don’t have great or realistic looking special effects. Given the nature of this movie, there was ample opportunity to showcase deaths, most of which were quite gruesome. They seemed to rely on practical effects in many places, and where they had to use CGI, it blended in well enough that it wasn’t distracting on screen.

On the surface is may seem as if Game Over, Man! is just another in a long line of immature comedies that focuses on crude humor. Well yes, there is plenty of that… but it also has many interesting moments where the tropes of action movies are subverted. Just when you think these terrorists are your typical macho mercenaries, they do things that mainstream action films wouldn’t dream of putting on screen, including tongue-in-cheek fourth wall breaks. These are used sparingly and never feel redundant as a result. My favorite of these is attributed Sam Richardson who plays Donald, the tech guy for the terrorists. He makes a joke about only being there because he “looks like the black guy from Die Hard” and then immediately states how false that is. Video game tropes are another prevailing element. Alexxx in particular makes numerous comments about how much like a video game their situation is, and stretches his point by taking loot from fallen villains. He is particularly obsessed with kill counts to the disgust of Joel and Darren. It felt a little unreal that in a dangerous situation someone would be excited about living in a video game, but then again, this movie is clearly a farce.

Overall, this movie has some creative ideas, but the execution does feel a bit uneven at times. If you like action movie tropes being both subverted and reaffirmed, and don’t mind a huge dose a farce with your shoot-em ups, then you’ll like this just fine.


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