Rico Torres

Like most humans with eyeholes and a pulse, I'm like a baby's skull when it comes to Luke Wilson (soft spot—get it?). He's handsome, in a hangdog way. He's funny, in a sleepy way. In any slightly melancholy supporting role, he couldn't be more of a dear. But as a leading man, driving the action, making shit happen—his role in Middle Men—Wilson is kind of a... how do I put this?... gloomy, monotone, gaping suck hole? Yeah, you know. That.

Wilson narrates this "based on a true story" film about the pair of complete idiots who invented the modern internet (or, to be more specific, they invented internet porn, but that's basically the same thing). "My name is Jack Harris," Wilson intones, "and I figured out a better way for guys to jack off." The aforementioned idiots—Giovanni Ribisi and Gabriel Macht, both brilliant as doofuses with a vision and an all-cocaine diet—come up with the first-ever program for making credit-card purchases over the internet. This allows engorged humans worldwide to make discreet purchases of ladies' boobs and junk, and have them delivered instantly to their boners via computer. Literally overnight, the boys strike it rich.

Unfortunately, they also strike a deal with the Russian mob, which backfires when they take their millions of dollars and head directly to Las Vegas to roll around like crazy in big piles of cocaine. That's where Jack (Wilson) comes in. He's a businessman who's good at "solving problems." Leaving his wife and dumb little babies back in Houston—"I was one of those guys living in a Norman Rockwell painting"—he becomes a partner in the wonder twins' porn business. All the requisite getting-in-too-deep proceeds from there.

Middle Men tells an entertaining story—though it lags, HARD, when Jack's family drama takes center stage—and features some stupid-good performances (James Caan is viscerally repulsive as a croaky, crazy frog lawyer). But the glib, gimmicky narration (i.e., the aforementioned "a better way for guys to jack off"—yawn), delivered in Wilson's vegetative monotone, leaves the film lumpy and uneven and often dull. You know, like a baby's skull (see above). recommended

This article has been updated since its original publication.