Plot: Nick (Jim Belushi) is an elite level operative assigned to save the world, after another agent was killed and an alien invasion is imminent, unless the demands of the interlopers are satisfied. And what do the aliens seek in exchange for allowing earth’s existence to continue? A glass of water. As Nick needs some help to make the crucial rendezvous, he recruits Bob (John Ritter), a reluctant insurance salesman who doesn’t even believe Nick’s claims…at first. Soon the two are traveling cross country to save the world, but all kinds of forces conspire to prevent the ransom drop, from rogue agents to dangerous clowns. Bob feels like he is in way over his head, but the more he hangs out with Nick, the more he starts to believe that perhaps there was a reason he was chosen for this penultimate mission for mankind…

Entertainment Value: This one is an odd duck, a thriller of sorts with some light action elements and an absurd sense of humor, as aliens seek a glass of water and an unlikely duo have to deliver the drink. Real Men has strong buddy comedy vibes, with an odd couple kind of texture blended with threads of road movies, so there’s a lot going on, but it is all aimed at the same target. The movie never takes itself seriously even for a minute and just tries to be over the top fun, so while little makes sense and the tone is ridiculous, it works because the laughs are consistent. I mean, who doesn’t want to see Jim Belushi and John Ritter have a shootout with evil clowns, with Ritter able to strike down his foes with just his fingers in the shape of a gun? The narrative is of course ludicrous, but it provides ample opportunities for the comedic elements and in this case, that’s all we can ask. And given how offbeat the story elements are, even if the plot isn’t that deep, it is more than memorable. I also appreciate how little filler Real Men contains, it runs a brisk 85 minutes and wastes no time, so it is all wackiness and entertainment with no slow downs. This is an eclectic movie to be sure, but those who appreciate off the wall comedies should have fun with Real Men.

As this movie centers on a buddy comedy narrative, Real Men needed two good leads since the bulk of the picture rests on the shoulders of Nick and Bob. If the leads weren’t strong, the entire movie would buckle, but thankfully, we have Jim Belushi and John Ritter on deck. Ritter is great fun as the nervous, naive straight man, while Belushi shines as the smooth, impulsive secret agent. Both actors tool up their performances to match the offbeat tone of the material, which means the humor is more than effective, as both leads embrace the approach. The two also have good chemistry as polar opposites, so the banter is top notch and so much fun. Especially as Ritter’s character begins to settle into his new role as an operative, as he plays the balance of total fear and blind confidence quite well. A small role that will interest cult film fans is Dyanne Thorne, who is always a welcome presence. The cast of Real Men also includes Suzee Slater, Mark Herrier, James Le Gros, and Barbara Barrie.

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