The Promotion (2008)

Director: Steve Conrad
Cast: Seann William ScottJohn C. Reilly, Chris Conrad
Plot: Two assistant managers of a corporate grocery store vie for a coveted promotion.

Genre: Comedy
Awards: -
Runtime: 85min
Rating: NC16 for language including sexual references, and some drug use.


How do I even start to describe a film like The Promotion? Directed by Steve Conrad (writer of The Pursuit Of Happyness) in his debut feature, The Promotion is a sleep-inducing, largely unfunny comedy on the ups and downs of working hard to strive for that promotion that would just make life a hell lot easier.

The two main characters, Doug (Seann William Scott) and Richard (John C. Reilly) work for the same Chicago supermarket, each trying their very best to impress their superiors so that they would be nominated for a promotion. Along the way, things do not go according to plan, and they become more calculative and less friendly to each other.

There is a major problem with the scripting. It is so uninspired and witless that it will make viewers cringe. With such a bland script, Scott and the Oscar-nominated Reilly, who are in my opinion above average actors, can only look back and regret the day they signedup for the film.

There is a voice-over narration throughout the film by the character Doug, who in the first five minutes of the film gives hints that The Promotion is going to be a chore to sit through. A lousy start to a film is a bad omen. Luckily, there is a slight improvement in terms of pacing in the second half of the film; there is more urgency to telling the story, though the acting remains abysmal.

Apart from one rather funny sequence involving 'black apples', The Promotion fails to live up to the expectations of a comedy. Why do we even bother to view such a film? What returns do we gain? Weare neither entertained nor do we learn anything from it. The Promotion is simply a letdown and a waste of time. Stay clear.

GRADE: F (4/10 or 1.5 stars)

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