July 2001
File Review : Made


Director:Jon Favreau
Screenwriter:Jon Favreau
Running Time:95 minutes
Cast:Jon Favreau, Vince Vaughn, Sean "Puffy" Combs, Famke Janssen, Vincent Pastore, Faison Love, Peter Falk, Drea de Matteo, David Patrick O'Hara, Jennifer Esposito, Sam Rockwell

A few years ago Jon Favreau was a struggling actor trying his hardest to get his script made into a film. Luck was bestowed upon him and “Swingers” made him a player in Hollywood. The film made stars out of him, and his best friend Vince Vaughn. Each has done several films since then and now they are back in a film written and directed by Favreau himself. “Made” is a dark comedy about two losers who take a job that turns out to be more dangerous than they expected. The film isn’t as clever as “Swingers” but it boast enough witty dialogue to make it entertaining.

Favreau plays Bobby, an aspiring boxer from Los Angeles, who works construction during the day and bodyguard at night. His nightly duties include escorting stripper Jessica (Famke Janssen) to private parties and protecting her from drunken patrons. He genuinely cares for her and her daughter Chloe, so he looks for a way to make more money and lead a better life. When his boss Maxie, offers Bobby an opportunity to earn more dough, Bobby reluctantly accepts. Maxie happens to be a guy with some mob connections. While at the construction site, Bobby’s childhood friend Ricky gets fired for being lazy. Bobby has always looked out for Ricky, even though Ricky manages to get fired from every job Bobby gets him. Bobby vouches for Ricky to Maxie when he gets his assignment to go to New York. The job is to meet a guy named Ruiz ( Sean “P-Diddy” Combs”) and follow his lead. Ricky, always imagining the worst, believes that the deal is something big and that they are being set up to die. Assisting Bobby and Ricky with getting comfortable in the city is a mob guy (Vincent Pastore). As Ricky gets crazy, it’s up to Bobby to bail him out again from this mess and not get killed in the process.

For his first feature as a director, Favreau has done a marvelous job with the dialogue. There are times when Vaughn goes over the top as the freaked out Ricky, but for the most part he’s funny at doing it. Favreau and Vaughn have a ball playing opposite each other like oil and water. Parodying the mob life is no easy task nowadays. With the Godfather films, the Scorsese films, and HBO’s Sopranos making a splash, one has to be careful not to glut the market and spoil it. In his first roll, Sean Combs does a nice job portraying a middle level mob man. It’s a small role, but a good one. The hand held camera work by Christopher Doyle adds to the rough edges of their environment. The tone and language may remind some of “Swingers,” but this film is different. It’s dark, funny and a good buddy movie like the Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau film.


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