The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard (2 stars)

The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard

The jokes are out of gas

‘We’re not going to break the rules, we’re just going to bend them a little bit,’ announces ruthless car-salesman Don Ready (Jeremy Piven) as he and his crack team of ‘car mercenaries’ descend on the small Californian backwater of Temecula. Their mercenary mission is to sell every rusting heap of junk on the lot of Ben Selleck (James Brolin), while showing his motley crew of salesmen (including The Hangover’s Ken Jeong) a few things about the triumph of capitalism.

There must be a recession on when unscrupulous car-salesmen are being portrayed as heroes, and The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard’s brisk 89 minutes running time is crammed with rude, crude and borderline offensive jibes about man’s desperate slavery to money. The underlying theme is nostalgia for the get-rich quick immorality of Reagan’s America, with Don Ready running rings around his politically correct counterparts.

Director Neal Brennan’s comedy does provide some laughs, mainly through Ving Rhames sending up his tough-guy image as Ready’s mild-mannered sidekick Jibby, but quickly runs out of variations on it’s one central joke. A brief cameo from producer Will Ferrell reveals the truth about The Goods; it’s a vehicle for Ferrell that the star didn’t feel was strong enough to star in.

(15) 89min. General release from Fri 23 Oct.

The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard trailer

The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard

  • 2 stars
  • 2009
  • UK
  • 1h 29min
  • 15
  • Directed by: Neal Brennan
  • Written by: Andy Stock, Rick Stempson
  • Cast: Jeremy Piven, Ving Rhames, James Brolin, David Koechner, Kathryn Hahn, Ed Helms, Jordana Spiro, Craig Robinson

Crude nostalgia for the heyday of get-rich quick capitalism and its ensuing immorality is the theme of this used car salesman comedy. A few laughs are all there is to be had from this brisk but boring mercenary tale.