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||IMDB Rating: 5.3/10 from 1,553 votes
||Release: 10 September 2012 (Netherlands) /
||Director: J.B. Rogers,
||Stars: Arcadiy Golubovich, Billy West, Cathy Shim, Celia Weston, Cleo King, Constance Zimmer, David Cross, George Back, Jay Johnston, Jill Bartlett, Michael Vartan, Patrick St. Esprit, Robert Klein, Ron White, Sara Foster
||Synopsis: What goes around comes around for a pair of prank-playing tire salesmen (Astin and Vartan) who find themselves placed in secretarial jobs by their put-upon boss (Cross).
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The direct to video effort Demoted brings one fantastic corporate
office satire to mind and immediately suffers by comparison. That
satire, of course, is Mike Judge's cult hit Office Space, a funny,
poignant, and brutally honest look at inside the cubicle, observing
three men fed up with their boss, their job, and every sickening event
that happens day in and day out.
There are times when clearly Demoted wants to be that film. It wants to
pack in relatable qualities found in the workplace, it wants to create
characters that lie around your office, and it wants to make people
you've seen before. The problem is that it is so textbook and
underachieving in almost every field that it becomes less a relatable
film and more of an envious portrayal of the life you wish was as
convenient as your own.
Mike and Rodney (Sean Astin and Michael Vartan) are the office
pranksters at their company, where they spend some time selling tires
over the phone, but more time harassing fellow employees, mainly Ken
Castro (David Cross). They have a notable relationship with the current
boss, but after he dies in a night of boozing, strippers, and
camaraderie, the head position is given foolishly to Castro (a name
that will prove wholly fitting). He is dictative, boisterous, and
sickeningly belligerent, and demotes Mike and Rodney to the secretary
position - a position they sneered and mocked prior to this demotion.
Rodney is getting married and, after being put on the spotlight by her
snotty father, tells her that he is getting a promotion and is a big
shot at the office. It is truly inevitable this excuse will backfire,
causing his marriage to subsequently go under, yet be miraculously
saved in a foolish and contrived scene. It is too inevitable that Mike
and Rodney will not have very much fun walking in someone else's shoes.
I believe it was Atticus Finch from Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird
that you can never totally understand someone until you climb in their
shoes and walk around for a while. Their case doesn't seem so much like
that as it seems an urgent alliance. They, then, witness all the
disheartening budget cuts Castro is making and plot to stop him.
I enjoyed the first act of Demoted, stared blankly, chuckling
occasionally during the second, and finally, snickered and yawned
during the third. There are times when the film genuinely wants to
incorporate intelligent satire and wit to its material, but it is stuck
in a rut of clichés waste-deep. Astin is a fine choice for Mike,
playing a simple and likable man, if a caricature, and Vartan does his
best with the role of the everyman, desperately careening towards the
idea of making his marriage work. But who is brought to a solid light
here is David Cross's Castro, but even he feels cheated on the levels
of destruction he could so helpfully bring to a comedy of errors.
And that's where Demoted flounders. Too many clichés, too many
ridiculous setups, too many cheap-shots taken at decent people, too
many instances that beg us to laugh, and too much suspension of
disbelief that we haven't seen Office Space. Likable cast, efficiently
determined script, but an execution that has direct-to-DVD rehash
written all over it.
Starring: Sean Astin, Michael Vartan, and David Cross. Directed by:
Tags for Demoted Full Movie
, Billy West
, Cathy Shim
, Celia Weston
, Cleo King
, Constance Zimmer
, David Cross
, George Back
, Jay Johnston
, Jill Bartlett
, Michael Vartan
, Patrick St. Esprit
, Robert Klein
, Ron White
, Sara Foster
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