Especially for a drama based on true events with components of porn and crime, Middle Men fits itself into a unique niche and over its runtime becomes a more serious movie with broader appeal. It’s based on the life of producer Christopher Mallick and is as he says “80% truth”. It follows the story of Buck and Wayne (played by Giovanni Ribisi, who is always fun to watch even if his movies aren’t, and Gabriel Macht, who is better known by now as The Spirit or as Harvey Specter in the awesome Suits on USA).
These guys decided to try and make profit off of porn online by being the-you guessed it-middle men. They provided porn in another avenue (not print or tv-1997 mind you) and simply handled the credit card transactions from customer to content provider. As the film states, Buck’s character (who is also a coke-addicted rocket scientist- seriously) wrote a program that is “the standard today for any online credit card transaction” and was the way of making Wayne’s idea happen. Mallick’s part? Well, he is essentially their manager, played by Luke Wilson (going by the name “Jack Harris”). He apparently has a ridiculous ability to fix problems like no other. He helps these guys grow because as he states over and over, Buck and Wayne “are idiots”.
Charlie Sheen: The Early Years
To originality. This is something that is rare in the age of remakes and sequels. People always enjoy the realism that the “based on true events” line brings to a movie. It doesn’t matter if it’s Casino Jack, 21, or Texas Chainsaw Massacre, it sells. It’s cool to learn a generalized and partially fictionalized (for the benefit of the viewing public) story about anything and is great when you’re trying to impress friends and can drop random knowledge like the story of the guys who brought you internet porn.
You’d be this mad too if your porn froze in the middle.
It also has accomplished the rare feat of making a movie about porn that appeals to the masses. It’s a true drama with criminal elements, a movie about porn and therefore more than a few sets of boobs, and a comedic delivery to a degree; I mean this movie really does have something for everybody.
At first, I didn’t think Middle Men was A Toast. Writing a review about it lead me to feel that it is, though. It’s not your typical instant reaction of greatness, it’s more of a “dwell on it and it’s better than you first thought.” Middle Men earns the Toast title by doing so few things wrong. There aren’t a huge variety of factors that combine to make it toast-worthy, but a select few that it just does perfectly.
A cameo by Kelsey Grammar and a few short, but awesome spots with Kevin Pollack will also help. Oh, and Terry Crews plays Jack’s friend and bodyguard James. You know, he’s the scene-stealing token black guy in The Expendables. Isn’t that validation enough for this movie?
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time Buck and Wayne freak out, get nervous/scared, and do something stupid in haste
Take a Drink: wheneverWayne comes off as knowing everything.
Drink a Shot: for happy endings! (You only think you know what I mean!)