“Do you want to be a banker or a gangster? Why can’t I be both?”
I really kind of dug the concept of the film, definitely. Two guys try to bring down a crooked CEO from within the company. I like that it was done as a comedy instead of a drama; that distinction allows for a more enjoyable experience as a whole. Though the idea could have worked as a drama as well, I think most people would agree that it is always better to laugh. Unfortunately, the way the film was done left some things to be desired. As a whole the movie becomes more of a cheesy experience with cliché characters, stereotypical situations, and a weak, uncharismatic cast.
Let me start with what I feel the film got right. As I stated before, I really thought the concept in theory was great. Two recent college graduates land their dream job with one of the most prestigious investment firms in the world and discover that the CEO plots to make millions at the expense of college students and their student loans. The film did a great job of establishing a moral center early on in the movie. By doing so, it allows the audience to care slightly more about the two lead characters, because already they are going against the typical vision people have of recent college grads, or at least what we have come to see as the norm as drunken and lazy. Here they are taking a stand against something; that’s very idealistic, and I found that winning. Had the film played more to this idealistic portion instead of raunchy antics, it would have reached a larger medium.
Now to the negative: many of the supporting characters were completely one-dimensional; acting in cliché ways that did nothing to move the plot along or endear them to the audience. Prime example of this would the boy’s immediate supervisor, also known as the boss’s son. He acts in the manner that has become the predictable way the boss’s son acts: spending his time either sexually harassing the female staff or making his subordinates’ lives a living hell, usually through heavy workloads and disparaging comments. I am aware the intention is to make the character as unlikable as possible, except in this case it is little more than an annoyance. It would have been greatly beneficial to have scaled back the character’s role, as constant interactions between our leads and this nuisance is time that could have been more productively spent between the leads and the film’s true antagonist.
Chemistry was another quality lacking in the film with the exception of the two leads. For the lack of chemistry between the protagonist and antagonist, I put the blame on not enough interaction. I can count on one hand the number of times that they are in the same room with one another, which is suspicious given that our leads are supposed to be covertly working alongside him to expose his plot. Previous statement notwithstanding, in regard to the two leads, neither one of the actors’ performances were strong enough to stand alone. Every time while watching the character of Isaac, his antics and mannerism reminded me of a young Jay Barachuel, and the world only needs one Jay Barachuel (and that’s not a slight against Barachuel; I love that guy, but still the world only needs one). Neal was where the film got its heart, the source for a lot of the idealism in the film, but the idea of a character that naïve and bad with women would turn around and become a stud is a tough pill to swallow. Together the two made it work; their back-and-forth possessed a quality you would find in a genuine friendship.
In conclusion, the film had potential but just fell short of the mark. Who knows, maybe a little more time spent on idealistic aspect and less spent on raunchy copy room sex and perhaps the whole thing could have made for a lasting experience.