Jon Favreau is now a big time Hollywood director with multi-million dollar successes under his belt including “Iron Man”, “Iron Man 2”, and the upcoming “Cowboys & Aliens”, but he was once just a Hollywood newbie with stars in his eyes. He broke onto the scene with “Swingers” in 1996. In today’s double feature, we take a look back at his career in 2001’s “Made” and 2003’s “The Big Empty”.
In Made Jon Favreau reunites with his “Swingers” co-star Vince Vaughn in this caper about a boxer and his loud-mouthed friend who are aspiring gangsters. Bobby (Jon Favreau) and Ricky (Vince Vaughn) are given a chance to impress an L.A. mob boss, played by Peter Falk and jump at the opportunity to get “made”. The two find themselves in New York where they engage in light money laundering and heavy partying. The film, which is written and directed by Favreau, is occasionally overly-reliant on Vince Vaughn’s star power, but it is light and humorous and has enough surprise twists to keep the story moving along.
While “Swingers” firmly established Favreau as an up-and-coming star, The Big Empty made it clear that Favreau could carry an entire film, if necessary. Favreau stars as an in debt and struggling actor who has no choice but to take on a job delivering a mysterious suitcase to an equally mysterious character named Cowboy. His attempts to deliver the package leave him stranded in a small town filled with local color including Daryl Hannah and Rachel Leigh Cook, while Kelsey Grammar plays an FBI agent tracking the suitcase and Favreau. The film is a light and humorous noir-inspired romp with plenty of room for Favreau to show off his acting chops.
“Made” airs on IFC at 8 p.m. ET and “The Big Empty” starts at 9:35 p.m. ET