Review: The Goods
Plot: Don Ready (Jeremy Piven) is a legendary used-car salesmen, who, along with his sales team (Ving Rhames, Kathryn Hahn, & David Koechner) is hired by a fledgling auto-dealership owner (James Brolin), to liquidate all the cars on his lot over one long, fourth of July weekend.
Review: Letís get one thing out of the way: Iím NOT a big Jeremy Piven fan. Sure, I like ENTOURAGE (who doesnít?), and yes, heís great on the show as Ari Gold. However, other than that, he hasnít done anything over the last few years to show any kind of range beyond that show and, thereíve been so many reports of him being a mega-jerk out there that Iíve kind of soured on the guy (although- to be fair to Piven, those reports could be BS, and he may be the nicest guy in the world). Funny thing is, I was a big fan of his circa GROSSE POINT BLANK, and VERY BAD THINGS. The problem is, somewhere along the way he seems to have stopped playing Ari Gold, and rather became the character both on & off-screen.
As his first big, post-ENTOURAGE starring vehicle, THE GOODS certainly isnít going to win him any new fans. Basically itís the same old shtick, only instead of being an asshole agent; heís an asshole car salesman and the character really started to grate on my nerves after about ten minutes. I guess the filmmakers were going for a whole, Burt Reynolds circa SMOKEY & THE BANDIT vibe here (heck the Bandit car is even a major plot point), but Piven lacks the good olí boy charm Reynolds had, so the character gets old FAST.
Piven aside, the rest of THE GOODS doesnít fare much better. There are a few good jokes here and there, and some solid work by veterans Charles Napier, Ving Rhames, and James Brolin (his crush on Koechner is especially funny), and a nice turn by the always funny Ken Jeong (although most of his good bits are spoiled in the trailer). Thereís also a funny cameo by Will Ferrell who produced the film with Adam McKay. Other than that, the film just drags on and on, with jokes repeated over and over again until they arenít funny anymore (like Ed Helmsí boy band fixation, or Hahnís crush on Brolin son). At ninety minutes, the film feels long, which is saying something right there. Also, the whole thing feels a bit familiar- and Iím sure that the folks behind THE GOODS must have seen Robert Zemeckisí USED CARS, as quite a few jokes (such as strippers being used to sell cars) are lifted from that film.
Suffice to say, if you LOVE Jeremy Piven, you may well enjoy THE GOODS. I wouldnít call it a complete disaster, as there are a few good jokes, but for me a few laughs here and there arenít enough, especially compared to something like THE HANGOVER, which managed to be consistently funny throughout.