Joe Somebody plays like an overextended version of those old Charles Atlas ads that used to grace the back pages of comic books and magazines ' you remember, the ones where the 98-pound weakling gets sand kicked in his face at the beach, only to return, pumped up, a few panels later to bust the bully's butt. In this case, the beach is the office parking lot, and the 98-pound weakling is Tim Allen, playing a divorced corporate video producer who gets slapped around in front of his 12-year-old daughter on Take Your Daughter to Work Day.
Collaboration number three from Allen and director John Pasquin, the tag-team who also dumped The Santa Clause and Jungle2Jungle under our holiday trees, turns out to be as nondescript as, well, Joe Nobody. The plot is conventional ' our hero mopes, challenges the bully to a rematch and becomes an unexpected office folk hero in the process ' and the jokes aren't funny. Worst of all, the film's moral compass (fighting back is good for self-esteem! No, wait, it's not!) is stuck in spin cycle.
And so a collection of talented and semi-talented TV actors (including "Ally McBeal's" Greg Germann as a conniving boss, "According to Jim's" Jim Belushi as a martial-arts instructor, "Ed's" Julie Bowen as the love interest and "The Tick's" Patrick Warburton as the Beaver, er, the bully) is wasted in a film that's the equivalent of bleached vanilla fruitcake. With The Lord of The Rings playing in the theater next door, Nobody deserves to sit through Joe Somebody.