I was really excited to see this film. I loved Swingers, and was eager to see a new collaboration between Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau. This was also before I had got tired of Vince Vaughn always playing the same character.
Favreau and Vaughn star as childhood friends, Bobby and Ricky. Bobby is an amateur boxer and earns some extra cash as a bodyguard for his stripper girlfriend, Jessica (Famke Janssen). He is a hard worker who just wants to earn a decent living. Due to his work, he is close associates with Max (Peter Falk), the local gangster. After Ricky hits one of the guys touching his girl while she works, Max asks Bobby to help in a delivery for a money laundering scheme. Bobby reluctantly agrees if his childhood buddy Ricky can come along too. Ricky sees this as an opportunity to be a real gangster, while Bobby just wants to get it over with and come home. Ricky and Bobby head to New York and take part in this scheme just as Max asked, despite Ricky constantly almost butchering the deal. Can Bobby finish the deal before Ricky ruins it?
This little indie film is a nice reminder than Vince Vaughn was pretty good before he hit it big with Wedding Crashers and started paying the same character over and over again. He is the highlight of the film, and his chemistry with Favreau is terrific. I really enjoyed the scenes with the two guys and Jessica’s daughter. Vaughn works really well with the young girl, so much so that I would be really keen to see him do it more. He is able to work with kids, he has done it in the past in films like Old School and watching this movie again made me wish he would do it more.
As an avid watcher of Saved by the Bell growing up, I have to mention the appearance of Dustin Diamond in Made. It is the highlight of the film for me. As Ricky and Bobby are being told they can’t enter a nightclub, Screech walks straight up and is immediately let in, causing Ricky to lose his mind screaming insults at Screech. It is a really funny moment in a solid film.
Made manages to remind you that Vince Vaughn was talented once and not just the one trick pony he has become.
I don’t care how many people tell me that Vince Vaughn is good– I will never believe it. The only movie that I remotely liked him in was The Cell, and that’s because he wasn’t trying to be funny in that. Also, he wasn’t playing the same character that he’s been skating by on for the past two decades or so.
I know it’s unfair to fault Vaughn for playing the same character in Made. This was early in his career, back when his schtick was fresh. The problem is, is that I’ve seen too many instances of the played out lovable slacker character that is now Vaughn’s bread and butter. He also seems to have spawned many imitators, so the market is throughly saturated at this point.
But it’s not just Vaughn that turns me off this movie. I’ve already admitted that I’m not really a Jon Favreau fan, so there’s that. This is also a mafia film, and while there are some good movies in the genre, I will never quite understand the appeal.
Thank goodness for the humor and touching scenes between Favreau and his love interest’s (Famke Janssen) young daughter, otherwise I’d completely write off Made. I wasn’t always laughing, but even Vaughn had his moments that tickled my funny bone. The story with Favreau’s girlfriend and daughter is more of a subplot, but it did inform his character’s motives well and wasn’t overdone.
Overall, Made is rather average. I don’t know why it gets the love that it does, but it’s not the worst movie I’ve ever seen.