This is the comedic tale of a grocery store’s young assistant manager (Seann William Scott) who believes he is the prime candidate to take over the soon-to-be built addition to the chain. This leads him to buying a house before the job is secured and lo and behold a hotshot Canadian (John C. Reilly) shows up in town from their sister company and begins campaigning for the job himself.
Hot, Medium and Mild. This could be terms used for Salsa varieties or ways to describe the level of humour throughout this film. The hot would be when things are witty and entertaining, and but then the Medium to Mild kicks in and many things just fall flat or fizzle out without much of a climax. The performances are often there but the film seems to be lacking enthusiasm as it progresses. Things slow down, hoping to ride on whatever quirkiness may be within the scene, but it’s dead without the right comic timing.
Perhaps that was a bit harsh. There are some very nice parts, especially in teh first half, and the timing of the editing does a good job of highlighting the better parts. This film’s quick editing moves things along at a hearty pace which demonstrates that a good script can be disciplined to one or two quick lines per scene (many a screenwriting class will actually teach you to do this). It is refreshing to see this kind of writing pull some tricks during this time where “improv” films (such as the sort that the Judd Apatow film alumnus make) reign supreme, with raunchy banter flying back and forth for minutes on end without it ever really moving the plot.
There are some nice social messages injected to the gags, largely created by the fact that everyone needs to shop, and so people from all walks of life will enter the grocery store where our two protagonists work (and compete) and bump into eachother.
The power-suit clag head office managers for the grocery store can be a bit much and often unconvincing in their intimidation. They make for obvious villains and only dampen any scene they are in, making us miss Scott and Reilly more. Aside from them, the film does keeps things entertaining enough.
Widescreen 2:35:1. The picture looks clean and the black levels are nice. Not much to say since this is not the sort of film that really needs an outstanding picture…but we get a good one anyways (gold star for you The Promotion, gold star).
Dolby Digital 5.1. A nice mix. The producers note that this film scored sound work by Skywalker Sound despite being having a smaller budget. It may not be a Michael Bay film, but the quality is there.
Commentary: Writer/Director Steven Conrad, Producers Jessika Boriczky Goyer and Steven A. Jones offer some background to the making of the production, including inside joke casting they made and such. Generally interesting if you enjoyed the film.
Deleted Scenes: Dry, sometimes boring stuff that had every right to be cut from the film, which could be try at times as it is.
Making Of: The sort of up-beat self-praising that would make for a nice feature on television, perhaps on Entertainment Tonight. Perfectly innocent and nearly redundant.
Webisodes: About a minute to a minute and a half in length each, these sometimes are mini-montages of film clips or humourous bits during the making or promotional perriod of the film’s production. Much more amusing than the Making of, I must say.
Outtakes: Just goof ups of one particular scene in the hospital where the actor’s are talking about cleft palettes.
The film is runs a rather average comedy length of being just shy of the 90 minute mark, which makes it perfectly watchable but just don’t expect to be blown away. This is the sort of film that viewers will get plenty out of during their second viewing because it becomes easy to forget the best parts after the first time around. This film deserves at least that second chance if you didn’t really enjoy it the first time, it’s good enough to warrant that.