An uptight dentist (Levy) politely responds to a complete stranger's conversation in a coffee shop. It transpires that the stranger (Goss) was speaking in code, arranging a meet for the purpose of running guns, and is keenly sought after by cop Derrick Vann. Soon the dentist is being used by Vann to uphold the charade and catch the bad guys in the act.
The buddy movie has fallen hard since the halcyon days of Lethal Weapon and The Last Boy Scout. These days, it’s audiences who groan, “We’re too old for this shit,” and uninspired crap like The Man won’t change that anytime soon,a lame retread of Midnight Run but with none of that classic’s dark wit, foul mouth or genuine heart.
Director Les Mayfield clearly thinks it’s enough to team Jackson’s tough cop with Levy’s babbling know-it-all dentist (thanks to a spot of mistaken identity), sit back and watch the sparks fly as they go after Goss’ band of gunrunners. However, Jackson shamelessly phones it in and Levy’s wide-eyed schtick is getting desperately old, while Mayfield ignores the cardinal rules of making an action-comedy by forgetting to include either. At 83 minutes it should be mercifully short, but this is so bad they probably show it on a loop at Guantanamo Bay.
Stick it to The Man — avoid like the plague.
Reviewed by Chris Hewitt