Vince Vaughn and Favreau reunite in this tale of pathetic, wannabe gangsters. Much like "Swingers," "Made" is seen through the eyes of Favreau but is driven by Vaughn's obnoxious character. If there is such as thing as playing a role too well, Vaughn has done it in this film.
Also similar to "Swingers," the audience often is left wondering why someone as grounded as Favreau would ever befriend the arrogant ball of energy that Vaughn embodies in both films.
In "Made," Ricky (Vaughn) straddles the line between eccentric and aggravating for the entire film. If I had happened to see Vaughn on the street after the film, I would have punched him in the face.
Ricky is the driving force behind this movie, making everything far more difficult than it should be. His actions are dominated by two traits -- he is both incredibly confident and astoundingly stupid.
As soon as Ricky and Bobby (Favreau) are given a small job to do in New York, Ricky thinks he is a high-rolling gangster that everyone should respect and revere. He tips with a hundred dollar bill then asks for $80 back.
From Peter Falk to P. Diddy, formerly Puff Daddy, (who play low-level heads of organized crime in L.A. and New York respectively), nobody can understand why Bobby hangs with Ricky. As he flails around wreaking havoc, Favreau plays the role of defeated parent, quietly trying to control his dim-witted companion.
Falk, who sounded as if he were doing an impression of Yoda throughout the film, plays one of the least intimidating mob bosses in recent memory.
As he totters around his office, I found myself more afraid that he would trip and shatter a hip than anything else.
P. Diddy, who has made a career out of acting harder than he actually is, provides a much more typical gangster, complete with condescending attitude and requisite short fuse.
As Ruiz, he immediately and correctly assesses Ricky and Bobby as morons. Watching "Mr. Diddy" verbally abuse Vaughn provides some of the most enjoyable dialogue in the film.
While the ridiculous, oddly mesmerizing dialogue of "Swingers" inspired legions of dorky guys (myself included) to say things like, "You're so money and you don't even know it" and "Who's the big winner tonight?" it is doubtful that anyone will be quoting "Made" a year from now.
But one might remember Ricky -- and hate him.
The Arts & Entertainment Editor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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