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With Jim Sabatini

A Family Man (2017)

A Family Man (2017)
Gerard Butler, Alison Brie, Max Jenkins and Gretchen Mol

Rated: R for language and some sexual content.
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: July 28, 2017 Released by: Vertical Entertainment

Gerard Butler continues a disastrous string of efforts (London Has Fallen, Gods of Egypt) which may remind some of his Playing For Keeps role in terms of the way his character must navigate through dismal material which isn't a good example of expanding range.

The action star who'll find his way into his comfort zone again later this year with Geostorm here in A Family Man is Dane Jensen, an abrasive headhunter for a successful Chicago recruitment agency - Blackrock- with a chance to become the top brass upon the boss's retirement. Provided he does better than ambitious rival Lynn Vogel (Alison Brie).

This painfully hackneyed offering hinges on how Dane handles this professional opportunity versus an increasingly difficult personal life when his son (Max Jenkins) is afflicted with a form of leukemia. Scribe Bill Dubuque (The Accountant) can't get the mustiness off of what has a Wall Street vibe incongruous with flustered missus Elise (Gretchen Mol) and bonding with a child he hardly sees.

So, the introspection that Butler has to produce isn't very plausible given some of his prurient, detestable actions as a husband and a dealmaker. Perhaps providing a little compensation is Alfred Molina's desperate, aging engineering client and Willem Dafoe's ruthless boss, albeit with a bit of a soft side.

In his first directorial outing, veteran producer Mark Williams really can't make heads or tails of what started on the drawing board nearly five years ago, and probably needed to go back or scrapped. But, at least A Family Man (originally called the more accurate A Headhunter's Calling and partially shot in Toronto) has Williams showcasing its scenery to desirable effect. Especially the Windy City's architectural luster, like Wrigley and Tribune edifices.

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A Family Man (2017)        D                        D 

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