Published Aug 01, 2001Justifiably, there is a fair amount of anticipation and curiosity surrounding Made, the first movie both written and directed by Jon Favreau, which also reunites Favreau with actor Vince Vaughn. Not a sequel but touted as a follow-up to the underground cult hit Swingers (which Favreau wrote), Made contains both the witty, intelligent dialogue one expects from a Favreau screenplay and continues to utilise the already established onscreen chemistry between Favreau and Vaughn, which is Made's greatest asset but also where its similarities to Swingers ends. Favreau (Bobby) and Vaughn (Ricky) play two blue-collar, best friends; Bobby's an aspiring boxer with a mundane record and Ricky his tag-along, loser friend who dreams of convincing Bobby to pursue his mob connections he works security for his girlfriend Famke Janssen (X-Men), who strips for the mob so he can also join.
While clinging to his dreams of square circle success, a sub-plot quickly discarded as the movie progresses, Bobby is forced to turn to old school mob boss Max (Peter Falk) for full-time employment and takes Ricky along, against everyone's better judgement. Bobby and Ricky are quickly indoctrinated into the family and are sent to New York from L.A. to perform a simple delivery for Max's partner Ruis (the movie debut of Sean "P. Diddy" Combs). Obviously the two are ill equipped for their new line of work, with Vaughn coming into conflict with just about everyone while Ricky tries to smooth it over, and their constant bickering, conflicts and ignorance on mobster etiquette is the film's driving comedic premise. Favreau (more comfortable as the everyman) plays his new-found mafia stature straight, with a "let's get the job done and go home" mentality, a foil to Vaughn's obnoxious, arrogant and ceaselessly chattering Ricky, self-deluded into believing he's now a mobster while trying to live it up like a member of the Rat Pack.
Essentially a buddy movie, although one gets the impression that Favreau and Vaughn could easily portray the ultimate bickering married couple, Made is both hit and miss, coming across as half-formed in some of its ideas, ending and with a couple of sub-plots that appear and disappear mysteriously. However, the chemistry inherent between Favreau and Vaughn, and Favreau's excellent dialogue, makes Made a better overall movie, demonstrating the potential for greatness in future collaborations.