The creators and talent from Comedy Central’s cult hit “Workaholics” are now getting more fully into feature films with this week’s Netflix original release Game Over, Man. Blake Anderson, Adam Devine, and Anders Holm play Joel, Alexxx and Darren (respectively) play three friends who work as waiters at a swanky hotel. They’re also aspiring game developers and are hoping to get their game financed by someone attending a party being thrown at their hotel.
Those hopes are dashed when a terrorist (Neal McDonough) crashes the party and takes everyone hostage. The three guys make it out, though, and set out to go full Die Hard on the situation, determined to save the hostages, take down the criminals and save the day. Unfortunately these are a bunch of pot-smoking bros who aren’t exactly John McClane.
The primary selling point on the poster is that it comes from the same team behind “Workaholics.” That message is shared right at the top of the poster so that no one misses it. The actual image is pretty boring, showing the three main guys in their waiter uniforms holding items like an iron or clothes hanger in front of a fiery explosion. That’s meant to convey the mix of comedy and action but it just comes off as stiff and unfunny, mostly because the three leads aren’t doing anything remotely interesting. Like…you can’t just stand there and expect people to laugh. There’s no design thinking or other inspiration on display here.
The first teaser debuted almost a year before the movie came out, though oddly not on 4/20/17. It just shows the three guys, all dressed like waiters, lighting joints with gun-shaped lighters, but the last one is a real gun. We get the basic idea that this is a stoner comedy of some sort but not much else.
The full trailer really does sell this as a comedic, ridiculous take on the Die Hard model. Three waiters are the only ones not being held by a group of criminals and terrorists who have taken over a hotel hosting a star-studded charity event. So they take it on themselves to try and take down the bad guys, even as they can’t stop squabbling amongst themselves.
That’s pretty much it. The premise is fully on display here, selling the audience on a ridiculous concept featuring a bunch of comedians they might recognize from various other shows and movies. It’s inane and insane but still looks only mildly amusing.
Online and Social
There wasn’t an official website for the movie but there were Twitter and Facebook profiles. I’d be willing to bet those were set up by the talent, who are all well-versed in using social media to rally audiences, and not Netflix.
Advertising and Cross-Promotions
Nope, but Netflix has been doing more social media advertising post-release so I’d expect to see some pop up in the next couple weeks.
Media and Publicity
The three leads embarked on a publicity tour that took them to various locations where they encouraged fans to see the movie, including a stop at the spring training home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. That trip is chronicled on the social media profiles. Shaggy, who appears in the film as himself, also stopped by “James Corden” to sing and promote it.
Look, I’m all for a good parody or homage. I have no problem with these guys riffing on Die Hard and doing their own thing with it. That’s not my issue.
It’s that it doesn’t look funny. As I said regarding the poster, you can’t just stand there and be doing something vaguely interesting and expect everyone to laugh uproariously. You just can’t. That’s been the problem plaguing the last several years of Will Ferrell’s career, that he apparently stopped trying and is just counting on him raising his voice to amuse the audience. I get that “not really trying” is kind of the whole point of the schtick from these guys and others of their comedic generation, but it’s not working and doesn’t make this movie look funny at all.
Chris Thilk is a freelance writer and content strategist who lives in the Chicago suburbs.