Some actors just don't get the recognition they deserve. I don't know what it is that has made Owen the bigger star than Luke, but if anything, "Middle Men" proves Luke's ability to carry a movie by himself and he does it so well here. As Jack Harris, a loyal husband and family man, Wilson plays a man who is caught between two worlds. One being his family and the average American existence as well as being at the top of an Internet billing company that deals mainly in porn. It is an engaging story and despite the raunch that you may expect to come along with such a topic, it is inspiringly honest and made in such a way where the topic of the porn itself is just as it is in Jack's world. It stays in the back of our minds, it is everything surrounding, making that world a possibility that is at the forefront and is luckily, the most engaging.
The entire film is from Jack's perspective, he narrates us through his story of going from helping a friends business out to helping two idiots who stumbled upon the biggest thing since sliced bread. Organizing a business around the idea of getting money through the Internet without ever having to meet another person is fascinating, seeing that origin story is even more intriguing seeing as we use it every day now and the circumstances under which it came to be even more so. The two idiots (as they are referred to as multiple times in the film) are played here with fantastical flair by Giovanni Ribisi and Gabriel Macht. Ribisi certainly has the more showy of the role as a cracked out psychotic who doesn't seem to know how to talk in a volume below yell, but he makes it work and is hilarious in every scene he plays. Macht is essentially the straight man to in their duo and makes us believe this could have all actually happened to them, while maintaining a sense of immature irresponsibility. Along with Wilson's commanding lead performance these two make this movie worth watching, if not for their drug induced antics, at least to gawk at how stupid genius can be.
The film is so quick paced and cuts quickly from one scene to the next as Jack takes us through the ins and outs of a business that makes so much money it is unsafe for anyone to stay in too long. It is somewhat of an ugly truth about society that people can and do in fact take in so much money off hidden fantasies, but the film doesn't let us think that, in fact, it shocks us into how relevant the industry actually is in our society. From being able to blackmail elected officials to helping wipe out a few terrorists, it is almost so absurd it can't be anything but true. We know its true, we just don't like to say it. It isn't a part of every day life and what is great about this movie is that it never forgets that. It understands its topics place in society. Throughout Jack gives voice over testimonials as to what is going on in his mind. He goes from convincing himself that everyone on the outside only wishes they could actually be where he sat. From that to finally admitting to himself that the little speck of knowledge does exist. That conscious that tells him what he is doing is wrong.
Which means, that in the end, this is really about the evolution and revelations of a man not sure what he wants out of life when presented with two polar opposite choices. It is part drama, comedy, and could even be a bit of an action flick at times, though in the lightest sense. And though it has many things going for it and many genres that it spans, we always feel as if a little something is missing. even now, as I write this review I'm not certain what exactly it is that didn't make the film feel complete for me. It is a solid movie, with great supporting cast and an intriguing story that is told in a definitive style. There is seemingly nothing to complain about on my end and so I will stop looking for it and say that besides the blunt content of the movie it is a greatly interesting film. One that some may want to ignore, but I dare you to pull your eyes from the screen.