Men at Work (1990) Directed by Emilio Estevez. With Charlie Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Keith David, Leslie Hope and John Getz.
Brat pack leader Emilio Estevez, directs, writes and co-stars with Charlie Sheen in Men at Work, an air-headed crime-comedy-caper in which two garbage disposal workers are unwittingly entangled in the murder of a politician.
Although it comes with a small degree of low-rent, free n’ easy charm, in terms of genuine laughs, the sleep-inducing plot and cartoon caricatures never get to first base. Estevez and Sheen appear to enjoy themselves, but are overshadowed by Keith David, who provides a lively pastiche on the war mongering Vietnam veteran – “You see, I thrive on misery. In the jungle, misery’s all you got.”
Along the way, Estevez invokes both Stakeout and Weekend At Bernies; one entire sequence is shamelessly ripped from the former, a film Estevez also starred in. It gives off a distinctly second-hand feel, and explains why so much of what we see is lacklustre.
There’s a blunt-edged ‘save the planet’ message mixed in with the antics, which amid the frivolity, fails to resonate in the slightest. While Men At Work might have nothing but good intentions, it can’t escape its self-imprisonment as forgettable nonsense. Bin it! 2/5