A word to the wise, never begin a dumb-humor movie with the title “Without”, as this can and will lead to a variety of derogatory usages to criticize the film, which I will have the good taste to refrain from. To be perfectly clear, I am not defending the film in any way, shape, or form, I just don’t subscribe to that kind of cheap tactic. Instead, allow to expound on the plot of these recycled pieces of celluloid gloop.
The first film Without a Paddle, features Seth Green, Matthew Lillard, Dax Shepard, and Burt Reynolds in a surprisingly dignified role…relative to the film that is. The story is of three life long friends who are reunited by the death of a mutual friend, and who discover a map he had found showing the location of a fortune from a airplane hijacking 30 years before. The boys set out to find it, but not before Lillard tells the sheriff and some good ‘ol boys where and what they’re setting out for. Does this sound a little familiar? Don’t worry it will, maybe.
The guys get tossed around the rapids a bit, and, holy christ, THEY LOOSE THEIR PADDLE! Later they encounter a bear, who chases them a bit, they then find the good ‘ol boy’s weed farm, hijinks ensue. After being chased awhile, they stumble onto some girls who live in a very high tree. They are found, shot at, escape, cornered, and rescued by Burt, dressed in his mountain man outfit. Burt, it turns out, was the partner of the guy who stole the money, and he joins them on their quest to look for it. Okay, this, for those who didn’t see the not so great sequel, is in fact the exact same plot as City Slickers 2: The Legend of Curly’s Gold. While it is not that shocking that they stole the plot of another film, the fact that they did a worse job with it then the previous film is down right pitiful.
Of course, the only thing that is more pitiful than a movie doing a terrible remake of a sub-par sequel, is a sequel to said film. This is wear Without a Paddle: Nature’s Calling comes in, avoiding all the pitfalls of half assed jokes and lame humor with no jokes and horrible acting. They do this by following a similar plot, only this time its a bunch of guys looking for one guy’s long-lost sweetheart from high school. The third guy is british, and could not be more annoying and stereotypically not funny if he tried. So they set out, get separated, and one guy hires some shady trackers. See where this is going? The other two guys find the girls from the first film (not the same actresses I might add), and have an awkward, boring reunion. Later the third guy and the trackers find them, but it turns out the trackers wanna keep what they find. So the guys have to defend the fort, etc. This couldn’t be a more lackluster cash-in on the not so great remakequel that was Without a Paddle, if it had been written by chimps throwing feces at an idea chart. That, at least, would have been gross AND funny. It’s safe to say 85% of the budget of this film went towards the ridiculous computer generated squirrels they used for the “comedic relief”. I’ll just let that one speak for itself.
Ok, so despite the terrible quality of the films, the Blu-rays themselves are pretty saturated looking, with digital noise, and a few pauses in the disc itself during the film. The True HD sounds decent on both, nothing to get excited about. In the special features department, the first film has a commentary by the director and a video commentary by the cast, which is actually sort of fun. They then have an MTV making of, 13 additional scenes, 6 MTV interstitials (TV spots that incorporates new footage of the guys in a car), and a trailer.
The next film has a making of called Up The Creek: The Making of Without a Paddle: Nature’s Calling, Furious Nuts (on making the (cg squirrels), Treehouse tales (a yawnfest tour through the set), Deleted scenes, and an incredibly unfunny gag reel.
Given the not so funny films, coupled with the lack luster special features, I can’t give these films the strongest recommendation. If you like typical MTV productions, I’m sure you’ll get a giggle and maybe pretend like there’s an actual film being shown, rather than a stale rip off.