Middle Men

This one's coming in under the radar. Keep an eye out. Three guys get nutso rich by giving people what they want: something to jerk off to on the Internet. The time is 1995, and Wayne Beering (Giovanni Ribisi), an ex-veterinarian, and Buck Dolby (Gabriel Macht), a NASA technician, need money to feed their drug habit. They steal porn from magazines and put it on their site. But it's Jack Harris (Luke Wilson), a Texas family man with a real business sense, who has the money idea: an Internet billing service. These "middlemen" don't need to produce porn — just to take a piece off the top of every private transaction made between their business and a guy with a computer and his cock in his hand. Producer Christopher Mallick based this fictional movie on his own Web experience. And the script by Andy Weiss and director George Gallo, who co-wrote the indelible Midnight Run, has a raunchy verve that carries you along on waves of gleaming temptation. Ribisi and Macht are sleaze incarnate. James Caan, as a conniving lawyer, and Rade Sherbedgia, as a Russian crime boss, are even more cootified. Best of all is Wilson, digging into his juiciest role in years and putting a human face on this mesmerizing morality tale, a journey into the toxic heart of the American dream.

From The Archives Issue 154: February 14, 1974
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