As you may recall, faithful readers, I really didn't like "The Social Network" all that much. Technically it was wonderfully done, but it was a film about dicks and frankly I couldn't give a flip about any of them. Well, "Middle Men" is also about the internet and also about a bunch of dicks (in this case sometimes literally), so why did I like this film much better? Because the main character was NOT a dick. He was certainly a rogue and his moral compass did not always fly true north, but there were three things that made him not a dick. First, he was charming, hard to beat that with a stick my friends. Secondly, he truly loved his wife and family. Everyone in the Social Network only loved themselves. Thirdly, he was a business man. Sure he wanted to make a profit but he never wanted to screw anyone, and he knew that the best way to keep making a profit was to keep everyone happy.
Shame Jack Harris was in the wrong business with the wrong people.
Jack is something of a fixer. He's worked for shady people before and prided himself on being able to keep hot situations from going up in a flash fire. He didn't think much then about helping two idiots who actually had a good idea. Their idea was to use the internet as a platform for porn paid for with credit cards, a revolutionary idea at the time. The true genius stroke was that the billing for porn would be "wrapped in brown paper" of legitimate sounding businesses. The trouble was that these genius were already in cahoots with the Russian mob and already were annoying them. Jack comes in, partners up with the idiots and tries to smooth things out with the Russians. Things go completely pear shaped when a Russian accidentally ends up dead. Jack though saves the day, but now he finds himself trapped into staying. Of course it's not all bad, they start making more money than anyone should have, and you can say you certainly meet some interesting people. But Jack's marriage suffers, and soon he finds himself caught in a web between idiots, crooked lawyers, the FBI, terrorists, and those pesky Russians.
This is simply a great film to watch. It's exciting. It's funny. Luke Wilson is just a joy to watch. Also, depending on how historically accurate this film really is, you certainly learn some interesting things about porn and terrorism of all things. Definitely give this a watch.