Directed by Jon Favreau, starring Jon Favreau, Vince Vaughn, Famke Janssen, Sean Combs, Faizon Love, Vincent Pastore and Peter Falk.
In 1996 Jon Favreau decided to try his hand at screenwriting as a response to his frustrating existence as an actor struggling to make the breakthrough. The fruit of that labour was to provide one of the freshest, wittiest and most memorable pictures of the year: 'Swingers', in which Favreau starred with pal Vince Vaughn, was widely hailed as an indie gem, comically capturing the fortunes of two wannabes in search of hot clubs and the kind of perks that only Showbiz alumni can avail of.
Six years on, and with a couple of decent performances behind him ('Very Bad Things', 'Love & Sex'), Favreau is re-united once more with Vaughn, but this time he also directs. The first thing you need to know is that 'Made' is not a sequel to 'Swingers'. It is, says Favreau, a film that he wrote hoping it "would appeal to the same audience". Largely, it does.
Favreau plays part-time boxer Bobby, who earns a living as a construction worker by day and a driver for a local LA organised crime syndicate by night. There are three people in Bobby's world: his stripper girlfriend Jessica (Janssen), her daughter Chloe and his best friend Ricky (Vaughn). Bobby is an honest grafter whose ultimate weakness is his compassion, and an unquenchable need to do the right thing. This 'weakness' is what has him saddled with Ricky, a verbally incontinent loser who lands Bobby in trouble at every corner. But that's just the kind of guy Bobby is – kind, dependable and, most of all, loyal.
So when he's asked by his mob boss to go to New York to carry out a shady delivery, Bobby also secures a seat at the gig for Ricky. As competent combos go, these boys are not in the ballpark. And with Ricky's tendency to irritate all and sundry reaching new heights in the Big Apple, Bobby's hopes of getting the job done quickly and quietly are swiftly extinguished.
As with 'Swingers' before it, the sparkling chemistry between Favreau and Vaughn is undoubtedly the highlight of 'Made'. As a foil for Favreau's standoffish Bobby, Vaughn steals the show as the likeably obnoxious Ricky, and the dynamic between the duo is regularly hilarious.
We knew he could write after 'Swingers', but here Favreau reveals himself to be a bone fide all-rounder. Always amusing, and with its finger never far from the pulse, 'Made' is a nicely-realised effort which bodes well for Favreau's future stints in the director’s seat.