Movie Review: ‘Game Over, Man!’ is Sick, Cruel, and Often Very Funny
New version of Chekhov’s gun, as established by the offensive, subversive new Netflix comedy Game Over, Man!:if a penis is severed in act one, it should be tossed across the room as a deus ex machina in act three.
Also, if an adorable Chihuahua is strapped with a bomb vest early in the movie, expect it to explode in a geyser of blood at some point later on.
But those aren’t the only moments of graphic male nudity and sick, gruesome violence in Game Over, Man!, which is directed by Workaholics creator Kyle Newacheck and stars the three leads of that Comedy Central show - Adam Devine, Anders Holm, and Blake Anderson - as roughly the same characters.
If you’ve seen Workaholics, you have a good idea of what to expect. In place of some the series’ comedic irreverence is a formulaic Die Hard storyline, but the filmmakers have tossed in all manner of extreme gags that they could never get away with on TV.
In fact, they probably wouldn’t get away with this stuff in cinemas; Netflix may have found a new niche as the home of extreme grossout comedy.
Devine, Holm, and Anderson play Alexxx, Darren, and Joel, a trio of Los Angeles slackers and hotel housekeepers who devise a plan to pitch their dream video game project to the billionaire playboy (Utkarsh Ambudkar) hosting a party at their establishment.
But just as they secure the deal - and are promptly fired by boss Mitch (Daniel Stern) - wouldn’t you know it, a group of terrorists led by characters played by Neal McDonough and Rhona Mitra seize the hotel and take the party guests hostage.
Given the L.A. setting, this gives the filmmakers a chance to amusingly cast a number of minor celebrity party guests as themselves - from Shaggy to Steve-O, Donald Faison, Fred Armisen, Joel McHale, and Mark Cuban.
The premise is a comedic spoof of Die Hard, and on that level Game Over, Man! (which has little to do with it’s Aliens-inspired title) delivers. As Alexxx, Darren, and Joel find themselves the only non-terrorists in the hotel that haven’t been taken hostage, there’s some inherent tension in seeing the high-concept formula play out.
Of course, the trio don’t exactly get by on skill and ingenuity: they bungle their way through waves of mercenary goons through pure luck as Final Destination-like sight gags dispose of the bad guys in the kind of gruesome and graphic manner that would be more at home in a horror film.
If Game Over, Man! intends to shock and offend, then this has to be considered a success: it’s one of the most subversive comedies to hit the (near) mainstream realm since Freddy Got Fingered (though The Brothers Grimsby comes close), and challenges its viewers to be entertained in the wake of what flies at the screen.
I only wish the filmmakers took the same amount of passion to their plot: Game Over, Man! hews so close to the Die Hard formula that any non-comedic elements tend to drag, and story-concluding climactic scenes lose the go-for-broke momentum that powers the rest of the film.
Fans of Workaholics aren’t likely to be disappointed in this film from its creators and stars, but others may want to give the show a spin before delving into the extreme humor of this feature-length counterpart.