Men at Work

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"Two garbagemen who know when something smells funny!"
  • PG-13
  • 1990
  • 1 hr 38 min
  • 5.9  (26,501)
  • 34

Men at Work is a 1990 American crime-comedy film written and directed by Emilio Estevez, who also stars in the film alongside his brother Charlie Sheen and Leslie Hope. The movie follows the story of two garbage men, Carl and James, who stumble upon a dead body in a trash can while on their route. They quickly find themselves in over their heads as they become embroiled in a dangerous scheme involving toxic waste and corrupt politicians.

The film takes place in sunny Los Angeles and opens with a satirical news report about environmental activists protesting against a local company called Stark Enterprises for their pollution and dumping of toxic waste. The news report introduces the audience to the film's villain, Maxwell Potterdam III (played by Keith David), who is the head of Stark and a corrupt businessman with political aspirations. The report also mentions the recent murder of a Stark employee, who was presumed to have been killed for whistleblowing about the company's illegal activities.

Shortly after the news report, we meet Carl and James, two blue-collar workers who are described as lazy and unmotivated. Their work ethic is portrayed humorously as they sleep in the back of their garbage truck and take naps on the job. However, their laid-back attitude quickly changes when they stumble upon the dead body of the Stark employee in one of their trash cans. Carl and James are initially hesitant to report the body to the police out of fear that they will be blamed for the murder since they were the last ones to handle the trash can. After some coercion from James, they decide to take matters into their own hands and attempt to solve the case themselves.

As the film progresses, Carl and James become more and more involved in the investigation while also trying to keep it a secret from their boss, who is portrayed by Estevez and acts as a foil to their behavior throughout the story. Along the way, they receive help from a local news reporter, played by Leslie Hope, who is investigating the story for her own career advancement.

The film's humor and style are reminiscent of other buddy-cop movies from the late 80s and early 90s, but Men at Work distinguishes itself with its environmentalist message and political commentary. The movie explores themes such as corporate greed, political corruption, and the dangers of toxic waste. It also features a subplot involving James grappling with his past as a marine and struggling with PTSD, which adds emotional depth to the characters.

As the investigation unfolds, Carl and James uncover a dangerous plot involving illegal dumping of toxic waste by Stark and the murder of the employee who was trying to blow the whistle on the company's illegal activities. The film's climax involves a high-speed chase, gunfight, and even an explosion, as Carl and James work to bring the corrupt businessman to justice.

Men at Work received mixed reviews upon release, but has since become a cult classic, known for its humor and engaging storyline. The film's stars, Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez, bring their real-life chemistry to the screen and play off each other well in their roles as unlikely crime fighters. The film's portrayal of environmentalism, politics, and corporate greed still resonate today and make the movie relevant in modern times.

In conclusion, Men at Work is a quirky and entertaining crime-comedy that stands out from other films in the genre due to its exploration of serious themes alongside its humor. With a star-studded cast and an engaging plot, Men at Work is a fun blast from the past that will keep audiences entertained from beginning to end.

Men at Work is a 1990 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 38 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.9 and a MetaScore of 34.

Men at Work
Where to Watch Men at Work
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  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 38 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    5.9  (26,501)
  • Metascore