Once upon a time, “tiger blood” wasn’t a thing and Charlie Sheen was considered a decent actor. His brother Emilio Estevez was a well-respected actor too, with a budding career as a director. Released in 1990, Emilio wrote directed and co-starred with his brother Charlie in Men at Work a comedy about two garbage men who witness a murder.

With dreams of some day opening a surf shop, Carl Taylor (Sheen) and James St. James (Estevez) work the night shift, bitching, joking around and occasionally making time to collect trash. One evening after trash can bowling, they notice an argument between a man and women in a nearby apartment. They decide to break up the dispute by shooting the man in the butt with a pellet gun. Soon, they witness the same man get strangled by two unknown assailants.  Later, they find the man’s body in a metal drum. Fearing the pellet gun wound will implicate them in the murder, Carl and James ask Vietnam vet Louis Fedders (Keith David) for help.

The plot is a bit convoluted, but the chemistry between Charlie and Emilio is what makes Men at Work, well, work. They riff off each other with ease. Whatever his personal problems, Charlie knows how to turn on the charm and deliver witty, deadpan humor with the best of them, which compliments Emilio’s more subdued comedy. This helps Men at Work find a rhythm around the twenty-five-minute mark, but falters near the climax. Rated-PG, one wonders if Men at Work would have played better as an R-rated comedy, allowing the Brothers Estevez to push the boundary’s a bit. Given the Rear Window meets Weekend at Bernie’s feel of things, a more “mature” approach to the story might have made for a more successful film.

That’s not to say Men at Work doesn’t have its funny moments. It does, in spirts. Just don’t expect a plot that makes a lot of sense. If you’re a fan of Charlie and/or Emilio, there are certainly worse ways to spend time.  Carl and James might not be the brightest guys, but their living life to the fullest.

On Blu-ray courtesy of the MVD Rewind Collection, an imprint of MVD Visual, Men at Work is presented in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The heavy grain looks natural, Excellent color reproduction is a standout here, primaries really pop. Flesh tones appear accurate and contrasts are solid. Free of any noticeable scratches or debris, a slight yellowish tint is noticeable in a few shots. Even so, fans should be relatively pleased with this transfer.

The LPCM 2.0 audio track works well, considering the simplistic sound design. Occasional sound effects reverberate, and sources cues are pleasing. Dialogue is clean, clear and concise throughout.

English, French and Spanish subtitles are included.

Extras are limited:

  • Keepcase Insert: Features reversible art and the keepcase itself houses a folded miniposter.