Middle Men

Rated 2.0

I saw Wes Anderson’s Bottle Rocket in a near-empty theater in 1996, and walked away thinking that Owen and Luke Wilson were potential stars. Fifteen years on, I was right, but I also think we’d probably be better off if I wasn’t. The Wilson brothers have averaged several movies a year for the last decade and a half, the overwhelming majority of them unwatchable throwaways. Luke in particular (he of the smarmy cell-phone ads) has been churning out straight-to-DVD-appropriate tripe at an alarming rate, the latest being George Gallo’s middling Middle Men. A “loose” (i.e., almost completely fictional) telling of the rise of Internet pornography, Middle Men shows potential as a modern morality play, but every scene feels only partially conceived. For collectors of insane overacting curiosities, however, Giovanni Ribisi and Gabriel Macht’s cokehead characters should prove most satisfactory.