Those scamps from TV’s “Workaholics” let their R-rated freak flags fly in “Game Over, Man,” a scruffy, unruly comedy with violence, pot, full frontal nudity and a body count.
It’s “Die Hard” with stoners, a blood-spattered tale of three hotel room cleaners with Big Dreams who find themselves the only thing that stands between a gang of kidnappers and the Middle Eastern party boy they’re trying to shake down.
Motor-mouthed Adam Devine is Alexxx, “the hustler, the Rick Ross” of the trio. Anders Holm, credited with the script, is Darren, “the Ideas Guy.” And Joel (Blake Anderson) is the mechanical whiz who can engineer their assorted “big ideas,” they hope, into reality.
One big idea? “Jeans Club,” where you “rent” pants for the night. Another? “Hot Tutor,” hiring strippers to be tutors so that teens are more interested in homework.
The one idea worth exploring, they figure, is “Skintendo,” a wearable inter-active video game suit. When their creeper hotel manager (Daniel Stern) orders them to work a big party booked by a Tunisian Bey (Utkarsh Ambudkar) and rich poseur-Instagram star, they smell their chance. They’ll pitch him.
That almost comes off, but the “not according to plan” part of the night is just beginning. Criminals led by Neal McDonough take the Bey hostage. And they mean business.
“You are CRAZY, Mr. Albino Bad Guy!”
The three are loose in a hotel in lockdown, unable to phone for help, not that Alexxx would like that. Not “cool” enough, he figures. The hapless, quarrelsome trio — the other two think Alexxx is an idiot — stumble their way into brawls, shoot-outs, with every scheme botched, every botching punctuated with some bad guy or other dispatched.
“He looks like a human-sized ketchup pack exploded!”
It’s a wildly uneven and violent romp, lurching between fights and comic set-pieces. Two bad guy minions are actually a gay couple, who interrupt their terrorizing for sex. Great way to trick bad guys? Fake your own death — via auto-erotic asphyxiation.
A clever escape? How about an improvised “Home Alone” zip line?
“Dude, that’s more ‘Home Alone 3.'”
Meanwhile, at the party, hostages are getting killed. As the Bey is rich and famous, people we know are at the party. We get cameos by Jillian Bell, Joel McHale, Shaggy, Donald Faison, Fred Armisen and assorted “Jackass” alumni. Not all of them make it.
The starring trio have comfort level that makes them believable as friends, though the other two tend to shrink into the background behind Devine. The highlights of the supporting cast are Ambudhar, a veteran of “The Mindy Project” and “Pitch Perfect” who masters the patois of a foreigner trying his hand at hip hop vernacular, trying a little too hard, and Rhona Mitra, as a psychotic henchwoman with murderous intolerance for sexism.
There are some explosive laughs in this. But they show up so randomly, with the story in between the payoff moments so lame, that “Game Over” screams out for more editing. Judging by the many names on the IMdb page for the film, a LOT of folks have already been cut out of it.
These filmdom frat bros don’t sweat the logic or physics of anything, don’t flinch at making a joke out of graphic violence. That can be forgiven. What can’t is the movie’s slow-footedness, endless pauses for the bros to bond or bicker that they should be more bonded. “Game” sorely lacks a sense of forward motion. Alexxx provides the words that an action comedy like this should live by.
“This is Video Games 101. You kill bad guys, you take their s—!”
Every time the script forgets that, it’s “Game Over” before it really gets going.
MPAA Rating: unrated, with graphic violence, pot use, full frontal nudity and sexual content
Credits:Directed by Kyle Newacheck script by Anders Holm. A Netflix release.
Running time: 1:40