Without A Paddle

For a while this buddy comedy sails along smoothly on elements borrowed from THE GOONIES (1985), DELIVERANCE (1972) and ROAD TRIP (2000), but the relentlessly unimaginative script eventually leaves it becalmed. Childhood friends Dan Mott (Seth Green), Jerry Conlaine (Matthew Lillard) and Tom Marshall (Dax Shepard of TV's Punk'd fame) have gone their separate...read more

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Reviewed by Angel Cohn
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For a while this buddy comedy sails along smoothly on elements borrowed from THE GOONIES (1985), DELIVERANCE (1972) and ROAD TRIP (2000), but the relentlessly unimaginative script eventually leaves it becalmed. Childhood friends Dan Mott (Seth Green), Jerry Conlaine (Matthew Lillard) and Tom Marshall (Dax Shepard of TV's Punk'd fame) have gone their separate ways: Asthmatic Dan is a doctor who's afraid of everything; Jerry has a desk job but yearns to work in the great outdoors (his girlfriend would be happy if he just grew up a little); and Tom is living in the moment, bed-hopping, riding his Harley and trying to stay out of jail. They're reunited at the funeral of their fallen friend, Billy (Anthony Starr), revisit their old clubhouse and recall their childhood dream of finding the lost loot of notorious 1970s bank robber D.B. Cooper. It turns out that Billy spent years working on a map to the lost treasure, so they decide to trek into the wilderness and complete their late friend's lifelong quest. Panic sets in as they arrive in a backwoods town and realize they're completely out of their element, but they proceed, renting a canoe and heading down river. They're soon forced to flee a she-bear who has claimed Dan as her cub; navigate major rapids; fall over the edge of a waterfall and lose their map and supplies. They stumble upon what they think is civilization, but is actually a pot farm run by a pair of bullies (Ethan Suplee and Abraham Benrubi) who are none too pleased when the city folk accidentally destroy their crop. Need we mention that their Rottweilers are named Lynyrd and Skynyrd? The rest of wilderness adventure is spent outrunning the dimwitted duo, making witless homophobic jokes and indulging in scatological humor, and meeting more freaky forest dwellers. The diminutive Green effortlessly shoulders the bulk of the film's comedy, while newcomer Shepard holds his own with a few zingers. But Bart the Bear shows more versatility in his gender-bending role than Lillard, who trots out his old, tired slacker shtick. Burt Reynolds' brief but amusing role as a mountain man pays clever homage to the aforementioned DELIVERANCE, but otherwise he's completely underused.

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  • Released: 2004
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Review: For a while this buddy comedy sails along smoothly on elements borrowed from THE GOONIES (1985), DELIVERANCE (1972) and ROAD TRIP (2000), but the relentlessly unimaginative script eventually leaves it becalmed. Childhood friends Dan Mott (Seth Green), Jerr… (more)

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