Cowering Idiots Association
Company Man
Review by Ross Anthony

This little film sure tries hard to be silly. Unfortunately, most hits strike wide of funny bone central. It's a Marx brother's script with a Stan Laurel where a Groucho should have been.

Breaking onto the screen with "Secret Agent Man" rocking the sound track, the mood is set for a 1960's spy spoof. Mild-mannered schoolteacher Allen Quimp stumbles into spy mode in an attempt to quell his hounding spouse who has much higher aspirations for him than grammar. Sigourney Weaver does an average job of playing her Olive Oyl role with a bit of a sting, "Everything would be better if you just, I don't know, died."

Early on, Quimp bumps into, and haphazardly aids in the defection of, a famous Russian gymnast very well played by Ryan Phillippe for about 3 minutes before he defects from the film, "You want to leave Russia just when you're winning the space race?" This event Forest Gumps Quimp into actual assignments with the CIA. Eventually, Quimp finds himself smack dab in the middle of the Bay of Pigs, Cuba.

I'm not quite sure why this film misses, it moves well and has high energy; perhaps it's the casting. I'd have recruited Paul Giamatti from "Duets" for the lead and Shelly Duvall as the pushy wife. Perhaps Jon Favreau or someone really dangerous like Harvey Keitel (or even Denis Leary) could have nailed the crazed "kill communism" soldier role.

Leary is fine as an intermediary agent, "I've only started one sentence since you've been in town and you've been correcting it ever since!"

Good lines like that get buried in throwaways like, "Just because you're a revolutionary, doesn't mean you have to be revolting."

Lots of energy and movement, unfortunately little amusement.

  • Company Man. Copyright © 2001. Rated PG-13.
  • Starring Douglas McGrath, Sigourney Weaver, John Turturroj, Alan Cumming, Anthony Lapaglia, Ryan Phillippe, Heather Matarazzo, Denis Leary.
  • Directed by Peter Askin and Douglas McGrath.
  • Written by Peter Askin and Douglas McGrath.
  • Produced by John Penotti, Rick Leed, James Scotchdopole at Intermedia/wind dancer.


Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit:

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 08:16:54 PDT