On paper, Middle Men, directed by Bad Boys and Code Name: The Cleaner screenwriter George Gallo, is a fascinating (and purportedly true) story about the frontier days of the Internet. A string of fortunate events finds Jack Harris (Luke Wilson), a wholesome entrepreneur from Texas, coming to the aid of Wayne Beering (Giovanni Ribisi) and Buck Dolby (Gabriel Macht). These two geniuses have designed a revolutionary way to sell people pornography over the Internet simply by being the middle men who push a string of credit card numbers from one place to another. They become multi-millionaires in a matter of weeks.
Trouble is these two geniuses are actually complete morons and therefore Jack steps in to partner with the dysfunctional duo. Sorting out their business woes amidst their own clashing personalities is the least of Jack's worries, though, since the duo has also entered a partnership with a Russian gangster, Nikita Sokoloff. And thus begins an unbelievable, too-crazy-to-be-true chain of events that draws Jack from one ludicrous scenario to another.
If you lay out that chain of events on paper, there is no doubt a genuinely interesting story in there. Unfortunately that story of rich men behaving badly would make for an ideal four-page article in an issue of Maxim; it does not necessarily make for a worthwhile feature film.