"For those who think 'Deliverance' didn't have enough Poop Humor."
The trailers for "Without a Paddle" offer the best parts by far - and that trailer never once comes close to being funny.There are lots of worthwhile comedies that don't exactly yield huge plumes of laughter, so it is quite possible for a 'laugh-free' farce to succeed somehow. But not this time out. Without a Paddle is the sort of laugh-free farce that irks and irritates as its ceaseless stream of limp gags flop on to the screen.
This is a movie about three grown idiots who go off into the woods because of a dumb old "childhood promise" thing. They then fall down. And get thrown about by a raging river. And run from inbred pot-growers. And scream and fall down. The high points of comedic value seem to come when a beautiful woman reveals legs that are coated with hair and that she poops in a paper sack. Yeah, that's the humor level we're working at. Flung feces, homosexuality jokes, poorly designed pratfalls, crazy animal gags, etc. It's all here.
The trio of actors involved are: Seth Green, who we KNOW has better sense than this, Matthew Lillard, who should be grateful for any gig he can get, and Dax Shepard, who is both completely unknown to me and seemingly without comedic or acting talent. But whoever cast Dax as "the annoying one" certainly knew what they were doing.
So the three fools wander around the woods getting into all sorts of "wacky" situations. And then towards the end this misshapen mass actually tries to get "sincere" on us, preaching about loyalty and friendship - as if we didn't just watch 81 minutes of "smell my finger".
Directed by the man responsible for Little Nicky and Ready to Rumble, Without a Paddle is a true rarity these days: the ads and commercials clearly indicate precisely how terrible this flick is. My one argument going in ("I dig Seth Green and I always have.") didn't stand a chance against this resoundingly uninspired litany of flaccid fratboy humor. Oh, and Burt Reynolds pops up late in the game (as a feral mountain man), doing just a little bit more to help us forget his brilliant "comeback" work in Boogie Nights. How many comebacks does one actor deserve?Stupid, juvenile, silly, simplistic, moronic...any of these shortcomings can be easily forgiven when a movie truly makes with the LAUGHS. "Without a Paddle" has maybe two - the ones from the trailer. And those are more like charitable chuckles than sincere giggles.