Movie Review: Buddy Games


By Andrew McManus



McManus

McManus


Directed by Josh Duhamel

Starring: Josh Duhamel, Dax Shepard, Kevin Dillion, Nick Swardson, Dan Bakkedahl, Olivia Munn

Runtime: 90 Minutes

Rating: R (for strong crude sexual content and language throughout, some graphic nudity, drug use and brief violence)

I’ll start right out of the gate with this week’s review. The film is NOT GOOD. Stick with me please, but I wanted to convey how much disappointment I felt from the get-go. We have the “Bobfather” played by Josh Duhamel. This was also his first directing gig. I guess the bar was set low then? You’ll remember the actor from numerous Transformer movies and various romantic comedies. Honestly, I’ve always thought he was a solid actor. I was intrigued in the beginning and the cast is peppered with known faces. Dax Shepard from PUNK’D and various films (he’s been good) Kevin Dillion (Entourage) Nick Swardson (an Adam Sandler crewmember) etc. etc. This cast did not make up for this plot. Maybe I’m getting old, but this one won’t easily be forgotten.

Onto the film.

We open with a voice over from the Bobfather (Duhamel) clips are shown of “men being men” fighting, football, war. He explains how primitive we are and our desires and displaying strength. The imagery looked nice and for a moment I thought this may be fun. We then move onto Bender (Swardson) running in the woods with a paintball gun. He is attacked by Shelly (Bakkedahl) and loses the “competition.” It’s explained that Shelly normally wins. We then meet the other guys and the Bobfather explains they throw this party every year. The film falls of the rails here.

Once you meet every character, you realize, none of them are likeable. Shelly (Bakkedahl) gets hurt and this causes a falling out for 5 years. The games are OVER….Good. The remaining hour of the film is cookie-cutter and honestly not very funny. Of course they all need to get back together. Someone needs saved. I thought that there would be some weight to the reasoning the crew split up. When we finally find out why (the damage done) I rolled my eyes. From that point on it didn’t matter to me who won the competition. I’m normally optimistic with films and attempt to find the silver lining but this week it was not working. It was evident that this film was Duhamel and his buddies hanging out, planning poor jokes that all fell flat, and cashing checks. Like I said earlier, maybe I’m getting old. I love comedies, crude comedies as well. This one just wasn’t very good. The acting was fine (the cast were clearly having fun) but it came off as annoying and the short runtime wasn’t short enough. This may be worth a second viewing and I will give props to the owner of the pawn shop but other than that it was a snoozefest. Don’t see this film. Wait for it on Netflix. I don’t say that lightly.

This is one of our shorter reviews and I’ve never gotten to the point so quickly. I also believe this is my worst reviewed film. What I will say is the last two week we had good entries. Go watch Let Him Go or see Freaky. Both honestly had more humor than this “true” comedy. I’m looking forward to Josh Duhamel’s next forte into directing and HOPE it’s better. Anything better. I hope you and your family have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING. Stay safe and social distance when able. Please support local business! ½ star out of 5

McManus
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By Andrew McManus