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The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard

Release Date: 
08/14/2009
Rated: 
MPAA: R
Star Rating: 
7 out of 10
Directed by: Neal Brennan

The Skinny: Journeyman car salesman Don Ready (Jeremy Piven) leads a light, mobile unit of like-minded mercs (David Koechner, Ving Rhames, Kathryn Hahn) on a three-day mission to save a Southern California dealership from bankruptcy.

The Good(s): The movie has a lot going for it before you even drive it off the lot, including a vast ensemble cast that also features James Brolin, Will Ferrell, Alan Thicke (we were wondering how he got an invitation to the Joan Rivers roast), Wendie Malick, Ed Helms, and Tony Hale. The movie's predictably loaded with memorable lines and sight gags, which benefit from Brennan's experience as one half of the creative tandem behind Chappelle's Show.

The Bad(s): It's all memorable lines and sight gags that don't quite amount to a complete movie. Rather than a rounded comedy worthy of an ancestry that includes Anchorman and Step Brothers, it's mostly a vehicle for the delivery of jokes only loosely threaded by story. Complaining about the plot in an otherwise funny comedy may be like bitching about the acting in a porno flick, but when you enlist a cast and creative crew like this, you should be able to tighten all the lugs on a production before rolling it onto the showroom floor.

Bro jobs: After turns as a bouncer in Knocked Up and a Skywalker Ranch security guard in Fanboys, the next stop on Craig Robinson's theatrical tour of loathsome vocations is as a belligerent strip club DJ from whom comes one of the movie's most memorable lines: "Nobody tells DJ Request what to play."

Theater, DVD or TNT in five years: It won't likely be such a cultural phenomenon that you can't wait until October for it on Netflix, but it's definitely worth your time.