Men at Work [1990]

Director: Emilio Estevez
Stars: Charlie Sheen, Emilio Estevez, Leslie Hope, Keith David, Dean Cameron
Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime
Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Runtime: 98 minutes

Proving that a little success can be a dangerous thing, Emilio Estevez parlayed his early-'80s "brat-pack" fame into a dubious directorial career, beginning with 1986's Wisdom (in which Estevez costarred with then-fiancée Demi Moore), and resuming with this sophomore-effort 1990 comedy that benefits most from Emilio's teaming with brother Charlie Sheen. (Close your eyes and listen: their voices sound like their dad Martin Sheen after inhaling helium.) The brothers play a pair of garbage collectors who discover a body on their daily rounds, and the corpse draws them into a scheme involving corrupt politics, illegal hazardous-waste dumping, and a lovely neighbor (Leslie Hope) with connections to the dead guy. Add a wacko Vietnam vet (Keith David), an unsuspecting pizza deliverer (Dean Cameron), and a pair of overzealous cops, and you've got a comedy that lazily rambles from one lightweight scene to another. It's way too loose to have any noteworthy quality, but that's also part of the movie's low-brow appeal: Estevez and Sheen play well together, and this is just their way of goofing off with Hollywood money. With a sharper script and an experienced director, Men at Work could have paid off handsomely. As it is, these sibling antics are amiable enough, and the early-'90s fashion crimes (like Charlie's "dork knob" ponytail) offer an amusing diversion from the lamest gags. --Jeff Shannon

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