Netflix and indecision go hand in hand. In a streaming service full of variety, the most difficult part of it all is actually committing to something. Is trying something new going to be as entertaining as rewatching the episode where Michael Scott proposes to Holly or the episode where Rachel gets off the plane with the broken phalange? Most would (understandably) say no. Should you watch a historical drama, an independent drama, or an independent historical drama? Most would (understandably) say no, no, and no.
Instead of sweatily scrounging through row after row of super-specific recommendations, Netflix sometimes likes to make it a little easier by thrusting a single one upon you, which is exactly what they did with their new action-comedy feature: Game Over, Man!.
A full-screen trailer for the film overtakes the screen just as the Netflix gets loaded, not even giving the audience a second to glance at what “Critically-acclaimed Binge-worthy TV Show” they could watch. Workaholics alums Adam Devine, Anders Holm and Blake Anderson star in a movie directed by another Workaholics alum, Kyle Newacheck. The three friends are low-level hotel employees with dreams of being video game developers. A potential Instagram baller benefactor, played unabashedly by Utkash Ambudkar, hosts a party at the hotel, providing an opportunity for the trio to pitch their best idea. The party eventually is overtaken by a terrorist group, and the three friends accidentally become the only heroes that can stop them.
Hottest Take of 2018: Game Over, Man! is an ode to Die Hard. It is not the first, and it will not be the last. “Regular citizens saving hostages from terrorists while trapped in some kind of structure” movies have now become their own genre, possibly even deserving their own row on Netflix. There is no question that the good guys will prevail, Adam Devine even admits it in a Stephen Colbert interview before the film was released.
Since the story structure is predictable from the start, all of the spontaneity and originality has to come from the characters, the comedy, and the action.
All three elements are intertwined through the group’s distinct style that was honed during seven seasons of Workaholics. To put it simply, it is not for everybody. The movie is riddled with pop-culture references, curse word combinations, genitalia jokes, and even more pop-culture references (a character makes a Die Hard joke ten minutes in the movie). Their comedy is Low Brow with a capital L and a capital B.
The Workaholics style does not translate to the film well. The jokes perform better in a low-stakes environment. The constant movie references, ranging from Flubber to Friday to Transporter, come off as lazy writing instead of relatable conversation. Some shows simply do not work as movies.
It is hard not to compare Game Over, Man! to Pop Star: Never Stop Never Stopping, the Lonely Island film. Both groups had a period of success with their bro-centric fan bases, and both groups have attempted a feature film a long time after their popularity climax. Pop Star, a studio movie with a $20 million budget, made a dismal $4.6 million in its first weekend. The Lonely Island could have probably benefited from a Netflix release, instead of suffering through an embarrassing theater release.
Game Over, Man! is a movie for Workaholics fans, and not really anyone else. The trio’s chemistry oozes through the screen, the vulgar repartee between the group is the movie’s strength, but unfortunately the plot does not provide a stable foundation for the quippy dialogue.