Tim Allen's Self Improvements
Joe Scheffer (Tim Allen) has been working for a pharmaceutical company for a very long time in their video communications department. The trouble is that Joe is one of those people who is a victim and regularly ends up humiliated by others be it a boss who uses him to a colleague, Mark McKinney (Patrick Warburton), who beats him up in front of his co-workers as well as his daughter Natalie (Hayden Panettiere) over a parking space. It is that humiliating beating which leads to Joe setting about learning to fight with a plan of having a rematch with Mark. The only trouble is that Meg (Julie Bowen) a colleague who Joe is sweet on doesn't like the change which is going on in Joe's life and preferred the old, nice guy Joe.
Here is the good news "Joe Somebody" is not a Tim Allen turkey, it is an amusing little movie with a reasonable cast, some nice jokes and some nice performances. But the bad news is that "Joe Somebody" was on a loser right from the get go because of the subject matter. What I mean here is a storyline which when it goes down the route of saying that Joe needs to fight to get respect is not towing the politically correct line when it comes to fighting. But then if it says well Joe should turn the other cheek as being liked is as important as being respected then what is there to champion. This wouldn't be an issue if it wasn't for the fact that this is a family movie.
But if you can get past the catch 22 situation of where the story is going there is plenty about "Joe Somebody" which is enjoyable with a lot of nice casting such as Patrick Warburton as the bully and James Belushi as a martial arts expert. In fact it takes you by surprise as when "Joe Somebody" starts as you have that sense that this will be another bad movie when in fact it is not bad. And the best thing about "Joe Somebody" is the chemistry between Hayden Panettiere and Tim Allen as there seems to be a real sense of natural caring there especially in the scenes where Joe's daughter is concerned for him and his decision to learn to fight.
What this all boils down to is that "Joe Somebody" is entertaining enough with some nice humour and an enjoyable cast. The only trouble is that once you look beyond the laughs the basic idea has a major problem which it can't avoid.