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REVIEW: 'The Company Men'

REVIEW: 'The Company Men'

REVIEW: 'The Company Men', Flicks.co.nz
Ben Affleck as Bobby Walker in 'The Company Men'

3 stars


Drama about corporate high-flyers who find themselves jobless once the 2008 recession hits. From the producer of TV's The West Wing, starring Ben Affleck, Mario Bello, Tommy Lee Jones, Chris Cooper and Kevin Costner. Now playing in cinemas nationwide, click here for movie times and trailer.

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Expect this to be amongst the first wave of films dealing with the social topic du jour – the fall out from the global credit crunch. We’ve had documentaries focusing on the cause and effects, but this is the first notable work of big screen fiction that tells the story of the corporate employees who were kicked to the curb in the aftermath.

The bulk of the story is based around Ben Affleck’s white-collar everyman and his quest to claw his way back to employment and masculine self-worth. It’s all very hackneyed and predictable and not helped by Affleck’s tepid performance. The storylines of the supporting cast are far more interesting, addressing the darker side of job loss, particularly with Tommy Lee Jones’ character and the battlefield between greed and friendship that he finds himself on. Unfortunately, these remain only sub-plots, mere diversions from Affleck’s unconvincing rage and pious rebirth.

Of course, the message of corporate responsibility is present. The points made are good ones, even if you wish they could work them in a more subtle way. At the very least, it’s a hopeful take on a troubling issue, with a genuine belief in old-fashioned Americana values as the key to survival. A bit cheesy perhaps, but I’m sure there’s plenty out there that could do with a boost.

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