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The Briskly Vulgar The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard

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The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard
Directed by Neal Brennan
Paramount Vantage
Opens August 14

Making headline writers' lives everywhere easier: The Goods doesn't deliver. Don Ready (Jeremy Piven, not changing a note from Entourage) is a hired-gun slasher salesman, the guy you call when your used-car business is in trouble. With his team, Don's a genius at clearing out stagnant lots. Producers Adam McKay and Will Ferrell are firmly in Anchorman territory, which means there's zero time wasted on token sentiment. They also miss a chance to immerse themselves in a potentially rich environment, shown in all its gimmicky grandeur in John Landis's underrated used-car-salesman documentary Slasher. Nothing here convinces. Briskly vulgar, The Goods skips scatology and goes straight for the gonads: "I have hair on my balls, and I sell cars" is how Ready introduces himself. Compared to this year's truly vile specimens (like Miss March), The Goods is unobjectionable, but shoddy. The few real laughs—all two minutes' worth—come courtesy of Russ Meyer veteran Charles Napier as Dick Lewiston, the angriest macho male anachronism of the year: "I don't like Jews, queers, or Eskimos," he announces apropos of nothing. "I was raised that way." Napier connects the dots between economic disenfranchisement and subversive humor—the rest of it is just a bunch of absurdist dick jokes.

 
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