It has been one year since Workaholics went off the air at Comedy Central, and a large segment of its audience has felt the absence of Blake, Anders, and Adam. That said, the creative trio clearly still wants to keep working together, albeit in the feature film realm. To accomplish that end, they have once again teamed up with Workaholics director and frequent co-star Kyle Newacheck for their first movie together: Netflix's Game Over, Man! Sadly, the film ultimately squanders a promising premise with gross-out humor, painfully unfunny set pieces, and an army of unlikable characters.
At its core, Game Over, Man! is a sendup of Die Hard, and it proudly wears that label on its sleeve. The film focuses on Alexxx (Adam Devine), Joel a.k.a "Baby Dunk" (Blake Anderson), and Darren (Anders Holm), three losers wasting their lives away as maids in a swanky Los Angeles hotel. They don't have much going for themselves in life, and they know it. Much of their day-to-day life is spent dreaming of fame and fortune while numbing themselves to the reality of their own existences -- mainly Darren, who has an affinity for tripping on salvia during work hours. However, when an insanely wealthy social media star named Bey Awadi (Utkarsh Ambudkar) throws a party at the hotel, the crew sees an opportunity to break free from their impoverished lives by pitching him a high-tech video game that they've been working on in secret. From there, things take a violent turn when terrorists led by Conrad Drothers (Neal McDonough) burst in and hold the party ransom -- leading to a game of cat and mouse in which our heroes must embrace their inner John McClane and save the hostages.
It's an easy-to-understand premise, but the "Die Hard in a hotel" framework falls apart because of how much Game Over, Man! feels obligated to highlight its action genre inspirations. Not only does this movie pay clear homage to John McTiernan's 1988 classic, but it also takes multiple opportunities to explicitly call out the fact that something happening on the screen is just like Die Hard. The result is a poor man's imitation of a classic, albeit with way more dick jokes thrown into the mix.
One thing that fans of this creative ensemble will likely note is the fact that Game Over, Man! bears a striking resemblance to the classic "Office Campout" episode of Workaholics in terms of its premise and its tone, and that's very much by design. However, it is also missing one core element that made the Workaholics version of this narrative resonate with fans: a sense of likability. Game Over, Man! is a mean-spirited movie that only seems interested in shocking the audience with its crass vulgarity, but it seems utterly disinterested in giving us any real reason to care about the main three heroes or see them succeed.
The main character problem that plagues Game Over, Man! also stands out as an issue that affected the later seasons of Workaholics. The film wants these characters to feel like everyman heroes, but it does not attempt to humanize them or make them believable. Holm, Anderson, and Devine (especially Devine, in fact) play their characters incredibly broad to the point that they're more grating than loveable.
In fact, they all boil down to simple, one-sentence explanations. Joel is secretly gay (that's his entire arc), Darren is smart but wholly incapable of doing anything without drugs, and Alexxx is a buffoon with no self-awareness. That's pretty much it as far as dimensions go for each of them, and there's nothing tangible to connect to that makes them feel like real people. It's not that we want to see them die, but whether or not they win feels moot by the time the movie ends.
Sadly, we can also say the same for the supporting cast, which includes Home Alone's Daniel Stern as an insufferably perverted hotel manager, and Shooter's Rhona Mitra, who plays a psychotic henchwoman with a penchant for dismembering men.
The only two characters in the film with a shred of entertainment value or Neil McDonough's Conrad (the Arrow-verse star is clearly having a blast channeling his inner Hans Gruber) and Aya Cash's Cassie -- a by-the-book hotel employee with a hidden dark side. They show promise as comedic personalities, but they're sorely underused by a film that seems intent on taking the low road at every possible opportunity.
Does this mean that you will never laugh once if you watch Game Over, Man!? Not necessarily. There are a few solid jokes to be had throughout the run of the film, most of which come from the vast array of celebrity cameos that we see at the party -- Fred Armisen, Jillian Bell, and Shaggy all come to mind. Additionally, there are some slapstick gags (specifically, the first real fight in the film) that do deliver the shock value that the film is aiming for in most of these moments. That said, the ratio of what Game Over, Man! throws at the wall vs. what actually works on a purely comedic level is way off, and there's a painful no man's land to cross if you want to get from one good laugh to the next.
Though it's great to see the Workaholics guys back together again after the conclusion of their Comedy Central series, we just wish they had a better movie to spark their reunion. Game Over, Man! is dull, plodding, not particularly funny, and it squanders an abundance of proven comedic talent by leaning into crass bits that don't generate nearly enough laughs.