Without a Paddle

"Weak"

Without a Paddle Review


Without a Paddle: The year's most ingenious title. It speaks volumes about the creek we're headed up before the film even starts. Paddle finds its roots in Deliverance, though this updated version clearly has no intention to follow the gravity of its master. To compare the two would be shameful.

Three childhood buddies, now in their early thirties, have reunited to mourn the death of a close childhood friend. Since their last encounter ten years prior, each man has taken his life in a different direction. Dan (Seth Green) is a doctor with a laundry-list of phobias, Jerry (Matthew Lillard) is an executive with a fear of commitment, and Tom (Dax Shepard) is a lying barfly who refuses to grow up and act his age.

As kids, the quartet spent years planning a camping trip which never materialized, in order to find legendary criminal D.B. Cooper's lost treasure. After the funeral, the three remaining men find a detailed map to D.B.'s loot left behind in their childhood tree house. Forget mourning! They rationalize that the best way for them to pay their respects would be to take a canoe trip through the Cascades looking for the treasure.

In typical fashion, nothing comes easy for this ill-fated trio. On their first night, a hungry bear invades their camp and takes Dan back to her den after mistaking him for her cub. The following night, they stumble upon a pot farm and become the hunted for two insane hillbilly mountain men (Abraham Benrubi and Ethan Suplee). Later, the trio finds temporary refuge with two hippie women living in a tree they've named Earth Child. They must adopt forest names like Condor and Slug and defecate in biodegradable bags. It's stupid, but mildly amusing.

To survive in this plot-less genre, a movie like Paddle must be teeming with over-the-top antics to keep its audience in stitches (see buddy picture, Road Trip). All of Paddle's funniest scenes can be found in its trailer, leaving the finished film high and dry with extended stretches that bring very few sustainable laughs. Maybe it's due to a lack of chemistry between the stars, or because the film is unfortunately rated PG-13. Paddle only talks about the raunchiest material; it never acts on it. I guess the best stuff will be reserved for an overpriced, unrated DVD director's cut.

Burt Reynolds makes an obligatory appearance as a mountain hermit who helps the trio find the treasure. His ten minutes contain some of the film's best material. As for our leads, they fail miserably to create a believable camaraderie - not even the scene where they huddle together in their boxers can bring them closer. And as the fearful doctor, Green is a complete miscast; he barely looks old enough to drink, let alone practice medicine.

Not even a paddle can save this ship from sinking.

The DVD includes 20 minutes of deleted footage and commentary from director Steven Brill and the cast, in addition to a smattering of other extras.

And which creek might this be?



Without a Paddle

Facts and Figures

Run time: 95 mins

In Theaters: Friday 20th August 2004

Box Office USA: $58.2M

Box Office Worldwide: $69.6M

Budget: $19M

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 14%
Fresh: 18 Rotten: 107

IMDB: 5.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Dan Mott, as Jerry Conlaine, as Tom Marshall, as Billy Newwood, Andrew Hampton as Young Jerry, Jarred Rumbold as Young Dan, Matthew Price as Young Tom, Carl Snell as Young Billy, Nadine Bernecker as Angie, David Stott as Dick Stark, as Tony, as Denise, as Greasy Man, Morgan Reese Fairhead as Sandi, Bruce Phillips as Minister, as Sheriff Briggs, Gregory Cruz as River Guide, Kate Harcourt as Old Woman, Liddy Holloway as Bonnie Newwood, Mia Blake as Giselle

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Free State of Jones Movie Review

Free State of Jones Movie Review

Since its true story is still so timely after some 150 years, we can forgive...

Deepwater Horizon Movie Review

Deepwater Horizon Movie Review

This reunion of actor Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg feels like a natural successor...

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children Movie Review

Ransom Riggs' bestselling novel is appropriately adapted into a movie by Tim Burton, the gothic...

Get Back Movie Review

Get Back Movie Review

Roger Appleton's documentary 'Get Back' looks into the music scene that come out of Liverpool....

Imperium Movie Review

Imperium Movie Review

First-time filmmaker Daniel Ragussis takes an unusual approach to this thriller. Since it's based on...

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

The Girl With All the Gifts Movie Review

Like a 10-years-later follow-up to 28 Days Later, this small British thriller takes a refreshingly...

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

The Magnificent Seven Movie Review

Director Antoine Fuqua brings his usual fascination with violence to this remake of the iconic...

Advertisement
Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

Bridget Jones's Baby Movie Review

As it's been 12 years since the last Bridget Jones movie, expectations aren't too high...

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years Movie Review

A-list director Ron Howard worked with the surviving Beatles to assemble this engaging documentary, which...

Blair Witch Movie Review

Blair Witch Movie Review

It's been 17 years since The Blair Witch Project shook up the cinema and created...

Anthropoid Movie Review

Anthropoid Movie Review

Outside the Czech Republic, few people know about Operation Anthropoid, a spy mission in 1943...

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

Kubo and the Two Strings Movie Review

From Laika (The Boxtrolls), this is one of the most beautiful, sophisticated animated films in...

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

Captain Fantastic Movie Review

An offbeat comedy-drama with a timely kick, this charming family road trip takes on some...

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Hell or High Water Movie Review

Sicario screenwriter Taylor Sheridan delivers another fiercely intelligent, engaging story that maintains high suspense while...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.