Some of the most successful comedies of the past decade have been genre mash-ups. Films like PINEAPPLE EXPRESS and 21 JUMP STREET show that mixing comedy and action beats can lead to comedy gold. Mail Order Comedy, the comedic minds behind WORKAHOLICS, attempt to mash genre’s with their Netflix original film GAME OVER, MAN. What they have instead is a comedy that veers from toilet humor to mean-spirited violence, never coalescing into anything more than a cheap DIE HARD parody.

GAME OVER, MAN follows Alexxx (Adam Devine), Darren (Anders Holm), and Joel (Blake Anderson), 3 hapless hotel maids who are scraping by, looking for any opportunity to get out of their dead-end lives. That opportunity presents itself when Bae Awadi (Utkarsh Ambudkar), a billionaire social media darling, offers to fund their “Skintendo” idea at a rooftop party. Everything falls apart, though, when a band of terrorists takes over said party, and the boys must formulate a plan to save the day and their paycheck.

Wearing Their Influences On Their (Bloody) Sleeves

GAME OVER, MAN is nakedly a spoof of DIE HARD. The setup is near identical, and the WORKAHOLICS boys are just a juvenile version of John McClane. (I’ll give credit where credit is due; one of my favorite jokes is a direct reference to DIE HARD here, nailed by Sam Richardson).

Game Over, Man
The WORKAHOLICS boys (L/R; Blake Anderson, Anders Holm, Adam Devine) back at it again.

GAME OVER, MAN is also pretty clearly a WORKAHOLICS movie. While the character names and professions are different, each of the main characters is near identical to their WORKAHOLICS counterparts. They act the same, and the repartee between characters remains unchanged. If I had to speculate, the Mail Order Comedy team wanted to do a WORKAHOLICS film but weren’t able to get the rights back from Comedy Central. With that, we have the closest mirror of what that would have been.

Castrations & Analingus

It is clear early on that any restrictions the team had on WORKAHOLICS are completely gone in GAME OVER, MAN. The short leash of cable TV is no more, and they have complete creative control. What this leads to is an uncomfortable amount of gross-out comedy. Used condoms are thrown around, penises are shown (and thrown themselves), and in one truly cringe-worthy scene, a hostage is given analingus. It all stinks of completely unfettered creative control, and a team of comedians never being told “no.”

PACIFIC RIM UPRISING Brighter, More Fun

Along with that gross-out humor is an intense amount of explicit violence. No punches are pulled here, as both CGI blood and Karo syrup are splashed frequently and excessively. Each death is in full gory detail, such as heads exploding, impalements, and a man being fed into a deli slicer. Fans of WORKAHOLICS may have noticed the later seasons of the show leaning into these violent tendencies. With GAME OVER, MAN, they dive headfirst into the sinewy gore.

Dark Humor, Bright Spot

It is in the combination of this gore and comedy that the true mean-spiritedness of the film comes alive. While the humor is juvenile, it leans dark, giving the film one of its few bright spots. A great gag early on about autoerotic asphyxiation gets the ball going, and the comedy continues to grow meaner from there. The kills are comedic, but the harshness of each one continues to build on the nastiness. It is like a more chaotic and immature version of a Jody Hill joint.

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This overall mean-spirited approach would work even better if GAME OVER, MAN wasn’t so ugly. Shot in full light, the film resembles an ABC crime-of-the-week procedural, like NCIS, rather than a feature-length film. WORKAHOLICS is a better shot production than this; where the show uses the digital look to its advantage, shooting interesting angles and blocking. GAME OVER, MAN, from the shots to the staging, is boring.

Repartee Wins The Day

What helps keep the film moving, even through the immature violence and comedy, is the performances. Everyone came with their A-game, helping GAME OVER, MAN stand a little higher than the rest of the straight to VOD comedies. Devine, Holm, and Anderson are all at the top of their game, and their repartee is on point. These are actors who know each other and know the best way to set each other up for the best laughs.

Along for the ride are some recognizable faces. Daniel Stern, of HOME ALONE fame, plays a pitch-perfect sleazy hotel manager, jumping between “good ‘ole day” stories and leering flirts. Neal McDonough and Rhona Mitra, “Where do I know them from?” hall of famers, play our villains, chewing up the scenery as they go. Jamie Demetriou plays both sniveling and slimy on point, a 21st century Hans Gruber. Steve Howey plays a revenge-seeking bodyguard, playing both heartbroken and manic at once.

Game Over, Man
The Mail Order Comedy team.

The background players are on point as well. Familiar faces like Sam Richardson, Aya Cash, and Jillian Bell use their limited screen time for ample comedy. Also appearing are notable faces like Action Bronson, Steve-O, and Donald Faison, all appear for a comedic moment. It is clear that the Mail Order Comedy team is fun to work with. They constantly have repeated actors and actresses working for them. Hopefully, it nets a better result with the guaranteed sequel (already teased at the end of the film, GAME OVERBOARD).

GAME OVER, MAN; Or, How I Realized I’m Getting Old

Listen, if WORKAHOLICS didn’t work for you, GAME OVER, MAN certainly won’t. It is the exact same comedic team doing what they do, to an extreme level. The film is vulgar, crude and mean as all hell; (there is also a weird subtext about homosexuality that I’m uncertain is in earnest or in bad taste). 18 year old me, sitting in my dorm room in a haze of both pot and pizza, would have loved this film.

26 year old me, who now has a favorite grocery store and a few creeping grey hairs in my beard, see’s GAME OVER, MAN for what it is; a comedy for stoner college students, still believing that a party lifestyle has its merits and that a bong rip is the utmost compliment to a film.

WORKAHOLICS still resonates because it is a show about how immature those characters were, and how the world was moving past them. GAME OVER, MAN stumbles because it instead rewards that immaturity. WORKAHOLICS is reality; GAME OVER, MAN is fantasy.

There’s nothing wrong with that, It’s just that GAME OVER, MAN essentially has an age limit, a carnival cutout that reads “you must be this youth-minded to ride.” I just decided to duck under that scale and found I was on a ride I didn’t enjoy anymore.

GAME OVER, MAN is currently streaming on Netflix.

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