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Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> February 2000 >> The Van

The Van

Movie Commentary by Scott Ventura


Scott's Rating:
2 / 5
Times Seen:
Viewing Date:
February 2000
IMDB Name:
Van, The (1996)
Stephen Frears
MPAA Rating:
R for strong language.


Colm Meaney is best taken in small doses. His voice is certainly not in league with Fran Drescher or Gilbert Gottfried, but Meaney's extreme rasp makes me want to hand him a glass of water. Unfortunately, his character in The Van has a personality to go along with that voice. He plays a temperamental bar buddy who gets mixed up in a business scheme with another recently-downsized man. The movie focuses on the conflicts of these friends made partners as they try to get back on their feet. To me, these are characters who should recognize from the start that they shouldn't work together, but they do it anyway. The characters seem to be primarily pub pals, and as soon as they're out of the bar, the friendship seems a little strange, so they spend far too much screen time arguing.

On the bright side, the movie does not have the dark undercurrent of, say, Brassed Off. All conflicts of importance are between characters in the movie, not the characters and invisible forces. There are no diatribes against unfair political systems, although there are some slight digs at union regulations. There is the breakdown at the end, and it's a little hard to walk away satisfied that everything will actually be alright between the primaries.

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Copyright 2000-2002 by Scott Ventura. All rights reserved.