Men at Work writer/director/star Emilio Estevez’s Trashmen Comedy Mystery is a spiritual cousin to his own star vehicle Repo Man. MVD Entertainment brings the cult classic to Blu-Ray!!!8
Men at Work like Raising Arizona, Apocalypse Now, Aliens (the director’s cut), and Young Guns 1 & II were a part of my group of friends’ pop culture language. We’d use them constantly as retorts, barbs, and commentary to one another. How it came to be, this reviewer isn’t sure, that Men at Work was put upon the lexicon of those other giants of cinema. I’m sure it has to do with the single-best line and delivery that One Charles Sheen ever gave.
“YOU’RE A LITTLE MAN! A STUPID LITTLE MAN!!!”
In context, it’s even funnier because he’s saying it to his brother, fellow co-star, and director of Men at Work, Emilio Estevez. But it’s even more so when you realize that this reviewer said this to his 8th-grade geometry teacher. Said geometry teacher nearly – not metaphorically – kicked the shit out of this reviewer before kicking his ass out of the class to the principal’s office to eventually be suspended.
To say my ties are deep – to this Garbage Men embroiled in uncovering, inadvertently, a Toxic Waste Dumping cover-up with the help of a Pizza Delivery Dude and a PSTD Vietnam Vet – all because of a BB Gun and a dead body – is a vast understatement. Men at Work is the kind of Single Night adventure that fans of Scorsese’s After Hours or Columbus’s Adventures in Babysitting or Landis’s Into the Night will delight in discovering. A film where anything can and usually does happen with a comedy glee that now carries a bit of a punch and bite that wasn’t necessarily there thirty years ago.
Estevez’s film is more progressive now in its view on certain subjects (its view on the wealthy, politicians, policing, and the environment are surprisingly modern) and others that have not (see one Charles Sheen aka The “total bitchin’ rock star from Mars”). Many will relate to the attitude in which the main characters approach their job – the lackadaisical approach to the mundane existence of work.
In these types of films, it isn’t necessarily the plot that makes the film soar but the cast of characters that inhabit the world. From loquacious hitmen – before Tarantino made them hip in the mid-90s – to beach bike cops to rival garbage men to the aforementioned archetypes Estevez’s script delivers on the kookiness one expects from these films. The fact that Estevez takes the time to give each of these characters a sense of a life outside of the film is the gravy of the film. Running at a brisk 95-minutes the film is filled with adroit choices throughout giving us a comedy that yes, is jocular and idiotic at moments, but brilliant in those said moments.
Men at Work is smarter than your average cult comedy from the early ‘90s. One that may surprise you with its particular brand of funny and how progressive it is.
Also, if anything it will teach you a few lessons like; you never touch another man’s French fries.
MGM has provided a solid transfer for the film. The image is free of any blemishes or issues. The film was primarily shot at night, which sometimes can be troubling if not handled with care on the transfer/grading side. Here the image is beautiful with just the right amount of grain structure to remind us this is a film shot on glorious 35mm. All in all, MVD Entertainment continues its streak of Cult Movies with great transfers.
- Theatrical Trailers
Included are trailers for Men at Work (1:45), Canadian Bacon (2:12), Panther (2:03), Ski Patrol (1:58)
The Final Thought
Men at Work is the Cult Comedy from the ‘90s that you’ve been looking for. Highest Recommendations!