“Welcome to disorganized crime”
Director: Jon Favreau
Cast: Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau, Joe Goossen
Synopsis: Two aspiring boxers, lifelong friends, get involved in a money-laundering scheme through a low-level organized crime group.
I get it that Ricky, the character played by Vince Vaughn in Made, is supposed to be intensely annoying, but I just wish writer, director and co-star Jon Favreau hadn’t made such a good job of it. Vaughn is great in the role, and the part would have been immeasurably worse if it had been played by a less likeable actor but, damn, I just kept wondering how he could be so obnoxious and so wrong so often. And then he turns out to have been right when it mattered.
Vaughn and Favreau play Ricky and Bobby, two lifelong friends who eke out a living as boxers. Made opens with a fight scene between them — before we’re told they’re friends — which is truly funny. Bobby also works as a driver for his stripper girlfriend Jessica (Famke Janssen) who works for big-time mobster Max (Peter Falk), but he tends to get a little over-protective when clients get a little too touchy-feely as Jessica’s doing her thing. This results in Max having to pay for reconstructive surgery on one unlucky punter’s teeth, for which he punishes Bobby by having him go to New York to help in the delivery of a money-laundering scheme. Against his better judgment, Max allows Bobby to take along his best friend, Ricky. It’s a decision that Bobby quickly comes to regret as Ricky’s over-confidence and motor mouth quickly manage to irritate everyone they come into contact with, thus endangering both the deal and their lives.
The multi-talented Favreau and Vaughn worked together on Swingers (which Favreau wrote) and the character of Ricky is a kind of mirror image of Trent from that movie, but whereas Trent is hyper-cool but is pretty much wrong about everything, Ricky only thinks he’s cool. In fact, he’s an intensely annoying buffoon, but he just happens to be right about the important stuff. It’s a neat idea and it could have made an entertaining movie, but Favreau fails to maintain the level of humour contained within the film’s first fifteen minutes. To be honest, it would have been a superhuman achievement if he had, but once the boys are dispatched to New York the humour tapers off considerably and Made becomes just as annoying as the character of Ricky. Unfortunately, the ending to Made is as bad as the beginning is good and pretty much wrecks all the good stuff that came before it.