Need a movie based in modern time of recession, downsizing and corporate greed? Then look no forward than “The Company Men.” Here is a review.
When tough economic times hit the company GTX, a company that specializes in heavy manufacturing construction, difficult decisions are made and the people involved all share a story. First there is Bobby Walker(Ben Affleck) a Divisional Sales Manage whose division has just been cut because of low production and overall stock figures at GTX at all time lows. Bobby a loyal worker of GTX of eleven years has just learned he is now unemployed turning his life upside down.
Second there is Gene McClary(Tommy Lee Jones) a long time loyal corporate worker and one of the founders and first workers of the then small which is now public traded multimillion dollar company GTX. Gene oversees Bobby’s division and he too is stunned to hear that not just one but two of his divisions he oversees were cut from the company because of low production. Gene has certainly seen lows within his company that he and once college roommate and friend CEO James Salinger(Craig T Nelson) help bring from obscurity but nothing like this and now others that work with Gene are worried that they too are about to lose their jobs.
People like Phil Woodward(Chris Cooper) who also works with Gene and has risen form average blue collar factory worker to Gene’s now top advisers. Phil has only worked with GTX for his entire professional life and has certainly enjoyed his rise. He is also scared to hear his name to be demoted back to the factory he came from, yet even he is not aware of that his future with GTX is not a demotion but a severance from the company that he must now use to support his growing family that has got used to Phil’s corporate salary.
Bobby Phil and even later Gene, who thought to be invincible to being laid off; especially from a company who he helped bring the company to its popularity of today, must now go home and tell their families that their once loyal and trusted flow of income has now been reduced to small time unemployment checks and slap in the face severances and a trip to their new life of looking for new opportunities. All three men handle this transition in different ways and all of them take their new adjustment differently. For example, Bobby at first is confident of finding similar work but after months of disappointment he has now looked to his brother in law Jack Dolan(Kevin Costner), a family member who he would rather not go to for employment.
Now Phil and Gene are not exactly young pups. These are men in their late fifties and early sixties that are far and away not ready to take jobs at their local McDonalds. Their situation is kind of different than Bobby who is younger to possibly start somewhere else. This pressure of being a dinosaur looking for work tests Phil and Gene to their limits and lets just say one rises to the occasion and rediscovers their new calling while the other falls beyond recovery.
Make sure you check out the “The Company Men” and see who can bounce back from having everything taken away from them and overall I give this movie three and half stars. My favorite character and moment in the movie is Kevin Costner as Jack. He treating Ben Affleck, Bobby like a nineteen year old carpenter apprentice while not looking to give out any thank yous for his hard blue collar work that Bobby never thought he would have to turn too in his recent demise. Tommy Lee Jones character is good but I question his morals as a family man who saw GTX as his own playground and trusted his once best friend James Salinger way too much. While Chris Cooper as Phil Woodward plays another strong performance and you just feel bad for this guy in the end. All together check it out it was a good movie and good for the recession times that we see across the country.