Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Operation: Endgame (2010)

Half funny, fresh comedy, half hackneyed, thrown together DTV dreck centering around two cooperating groups of assassins turned on each other by their superiors. The whole fucking film takes place in their underground HQ, and the cheapness of the production does not do it any favors; this is one project that would have benefited from a big-budget, Get Smart-esque treatment. The action scenes are well-executed, but clearly contained and shortchanged. And the central love story, between a fresh new recruit and his former flame, now a Mata Hari named Temptress (the codenames in this movie are broad and pointless), is indicative of the half-assed emotional manipulation typical of z-grade productions. Which is a shame, because the cast here is actually very talented, and very game. Comedy pros like Jeffery Tambor, Michael Hitchcock, Bob Odenkirk, Adam Scott, and Zach Galifinakis (in a shorter-than-advertised role) tone their respective schticks down a bit while decidedly non-comic actors such as Ving Rhames, Emilie De Ravin, and Ellen Barkin have a blast with their over-the-top characters. But the saving grace of this movie, and one that does not allow me to regret watching the film for one second, is Rob Cordry. As the raging alcoholic head of one of the agencies (a gun-shaped flask is permanently stapled to his hand), Cordry provides further evidence (along with Harold and Kumar 2) that he was born to play this type of role, cussing, drinking, and fighting with the same zeal and dedication he brought to the much bigger-budgeted Hot Tub Time Machine earlier this year. I was skeptical of his career in film, but his performance here, which basically holds the movie up on his shoulders (until he croaks oh snap *SPOILER* then the movie goes pretty much into unwatchable territory) makes me think he could sustain a leading man gig for the entirety of a running time; I may have to seek out that paintball flick I saw him on the cover of years ago (Blackballed I believe it's called...probably ass).

Slightly Recommended for fans of ramshackle DTV comedy and the terrific cast. This is definitely best seen (and, honestly, possibly made for) on a late night, uncut Comedy Central broadcast, or in a double feature with Harold and Kumar: Escape from Guantanamo Bay (which was supposed to be DTV, but proved to be just too damn good).

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