'Game Over, Man!': How to make a film without even trying
Kyle Newacheck’s “Game Over, Man!” is perhaps one of the most befuddling Netflix releases since Adam Sandler’s dreadful “The Ridiculous 6.”
It has the same lowbrow humor and poor acting but with an egregious interest in being simultaneously repulsive and absent of any morality. When I lamented the film’s quality to a friend who had also seen the film, he surmised my feelings accurately: “I’m not exactly sure what I was hoping for going into that movie.” To be sure, there were no expectations – one knew this was going to be a bad comedy, but just how bad was impossible to predict.
The narrative follows three housekeepers (Adam Devine, Anders Holm and Blake Anderson) in a ritzy Los Angeles hotel who have to stop a team of thugs from holding the hotel and its patrons for ransom.
The film pays obvious homage to “Die Hard” and other such thrillers, though with frequent references to drug use and sexual relations splashed in.
It bears noting that I found myself laughing at several points during the film, though not from enjoyment. No, I laughed from the sheer embarrassment of what was transpiring on screen. There was a hostage being forced to sexually pleasure another hostage, dismembered genitalia being thrown as one might a football and a Steve-O cameo in which the “Jackass” native has his head explode. The antics continue beyond this modest list, including an instance in which two male lovers engage in intercourse while the housekeepers attempt to subdue them with lamps.
In the midst of all this absurdity, it became difficult for me to determine just what the film was trying to accomplish. Its backbone is a by-the-numbers ransom film.
The criminals gradually lose control as the ill-equipped heroes defy the insurmountable odds – in this case, while high on salvia. Despite the brutal killings and excessive gore, the protagonists carry on as if there is no danger at all. They crack jokes, discuss their lukewarm technology aspirations and get even higher.
The film reaches its breaking point with the decision to tackle the single biggest taboo in cinema: killing a dog. A spoiler warning is hardly necessary, as those offended by such a plot device will most likely want to know beforehand. Yes, they kill a small dog, after making him swim in circles in a fish tank while wearing a suicide bomb belt. “That was a lot of blood,” the villain remarks with a guffaw after this travesty. The hostages look on with mixed expressions of confusion and anxiety, a testament to the viewer’s own emotions.
When the credits roll, you’ll close Netflix and confirm in the pop-up that you do in fact want to close the application. Then, you’ll grab a glass of wine and stare vacantly into the abyss wondering what you just witnessed.
To say that “Game Over, Man!” is unrecommendable is not true, strictly speaking, for there are certainly grounds on which this movie can be suggested.
Those grounds being, of course, if you hold particular disdain for an individual and would like them to toss away two hours or so of their lives to this convoluted mess.