DVD Review - "The Company Men"

As the recession deepens, GTX, primarily a recreational company, finds itself on the precipice of falling apart. To keep themselves afloat (read: keep the CEO rich), they begin laying off employees. First, we see Bobby Walker (Ben Affleck), a sales executive, get the axe. Then Phil Woodward (Chris Cooper), a man who worked his way up from the factory floor. And finally, Gene McClary (Tommy Lee Jones), who was once the second most important person in the company. "Company Men" displays each man's struggle to put their lives back together in a job pool filled with overqualified competitors.

"Company Men" obviously tells a highly relevant story. The problem is in the way the story is told. It's not that it's poorly made or even boring as I thought it might end up being. But there's no power or emotional connection within the movie; it simply is. "Up in the Air" illustrated how heartbreaking and real a film about job less can be. I didn't expect "Company Men" to be up to that standard (because "Up in the Air" is an incredible film in my book) but I did expect it to make an attempt to suck me into the narrative. Even a cheesy or cliche emotional pull would have been nice in some ways because at least then the struggle of the characters would have mattered to me on some level. All of the performances are solid, especially that of Jones, but their characters are all weak or underdeveloped. I just didn't root for Walker or Woodward the way that I honestly thought I would. "Company Men" is also a bit too long and drags in places. There's a valid, worthwhile movie in here somewhere but unfortunately it just can't quite come to the surface as presently constructed.

Grade: B-