|Available at Amazon.com|
It would be really easy for this movie to be just another over-the-top, physical humor, gag reel movie in the vein of Employee of the Month. And with Seann William Scott and John C. Reilly, that’s pretty much what you’d expect. But that is not what you end up with. The Promotion takes a much more adult look at two people battling for one job. Sure they both want and need the job and will do anything to get the job, but they’re much more passive aggressive with their attempts to undercut each other.
The movie starts with Paul, played by Scott, talking about the store that he is the assistant manager at. He talks about his lazy employees as they are shown being lazy, and the gang problem in the parking lot and his desire to move up the ladder. That’s when he finds out there is a new store being opened and that he is the shoo in for the position, until William Wellner (Reilly), comes down from Canada to compete for the job.
I know what you’re thinking, “Reilly is playing a Canadian? Do we have to get ready for another Canadian Strike?” Surprisingly, no we don’t. Reilly could have been a lot worse to Canadians, the accent isn’t over done and the only real stereotype they bring up is how overly nice Canadians are. Hearing that Reilly was playing a Canadian I expected every sentence to contain three eh’s and an aboot.
Now that they’ve set up the external struggle for power between Paul and Wellner they bring in internal conflict for both characters as well. Paul and his wife, Jenna Fisher from The Office, live next door to a gay banjo player with paper thin walls so they can everything going on. So they decide to buy a house since he’s the shoo in for the job. However with Wellner showing up, he’s no longer the shoo in, but he neglects to tell his wife that because he wants to be the primary bread winner and prove that he’s a man.
Wellner is dealing with being in a new country with his wife and daughter, both of whom but a financial toll on him. Daycare, premiums and dance lessons. All of which puts added stress on a self admitted recovering drug addict.
The two have one month to prove to the board that they are capable of being the manager of the new store. And neither of them have a very good month. Of course very little of it is their fault as each of them are trying to undercut the other. None of the gags are all that funny in a bust out laughing way. Although that’s not to say it’s not funny, it’s just more of a, “ha, I can relate to that” type of funny. And I actually commend them for that. It would have been easy to make all the gags exaggerated but they kept it toned down and it works.
It’s a different role for both actors, Scott is trying to distance himself from his infamous Stifler character from American Pie and this movie does a decent job of it. And Reilly also plays a different role and adapts to it well.
The film-making is a little off. Nothing that detracts from the movie, but just some little things with zooms and focus.
The Promotion is present in 16×9 Widescreen with 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound.
A couple of deleted scenes that accomplished nothing: easily cut material. About 7 minutes of outtakes, and it seems like 5 minutes of it is the doctor laughing because he can’t get his line. Commentary with Director Steven Conrad, Producers Jessika Borsiczky Goyer (Take that spell check), and Steven Jones. A behind-the-scenes look at the making of the movie and some Promotional Webisodes.
Definitely not what you’re expecting. It’s not a great movie, but I like the fact they went in another direction and gave it more of a grown up feel. I actually recommend getting this one, just so others in Hollywood might make more movies that aren’t blatant idiocies, like the movies these two are known for.
Dimensions Films Presents The Promotion. Directed by Steven Conrad. Starring Seann William Scott, John C. Reilly, and Jenna Fisher. Written by Steven Conrad. Running time: 86 minutes. Rated R. Released on DVD: September 2nd, 2008. Available at Amazon.com.