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Made (2002)
Director: Jon Favreau
Jon Favreau, Vince Vaughn, Famke Janssen, Sean Combs, Peter Falk, Vincent Pastore.
94 minutes
25th January 2002
15 cert camera
the film Made
Bobby (Favreau) and Ricky (Vaughn) are best buddies. Pals since childhood, they hang around together in their dead-end jobs, looking to make a few bucks in pro boxing, but mostly doing odd jobs for their Mob associates.
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Bobby's main job is to take his girlfriend, Jess (Janssen), to her various stripping gigs, but when one of the punters gets fresh and Bobby takes a pop at him, he finds himself indebted to Peter Falk's grumpy mobster, Max.

Starting with the two central characters knocking seven bells out of each other in the ring, "Made" follows them as they continue to batter each other - metaphorically at least - while going to New York to pick up a package for Max.

See, the problem with their friendship is... Ricky's a complete idiot. Clumsy, indiscreet, bolshy, and rude, he's forever dropping Favreau's hapless nice guy in it, causing them endless problems when the pair hook up with preening, NYC hood Ruiz (rapper Combs - surprisingly good).

As with "Swingers", Favreau's irresistible screenwriting debut, the pleasure of "Made" is not so much what happens as how. Yes, Ricky's a fool, but he's undeniably amusing; yes, Favreau never convinces as a gangster, but he makes a great straight guy.

That "Made" isn't as successful as the actors' previous classic pairing is probably down to the absence of Doug Liman at the helm. As writer, producer, director, and star, Favreau has stretched himself too thin - never managing to set a consistent tone for his debut behind the camera.

There are very funny moments, and some wonderful dialogue, but the film's self-consciously serious moments sit uncomfortably with the buddy banter. Vaughn's character, meanwhile, strays from enjoyably imbecilic to almost-unbearably irritating.

Still, for fans of the mob comedy genre at least, "Made" makes for an enjoyable diversion between episodes of The Sopranos.

"Made" opens in the UK on Friday 25th January 2002.

Reviewed by Nev Pierce , BBC Films

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