Projections - Movie Reviews

Without a Paddle
Without a Paddle
Starring Seth Green, Matthew Lillard, Dax Shephard,
Burt Reynolds, Ethan Suplee, Abraham Benrubi

Three childhood friends go home to Oregon to attend their pal Billy’s funeral. Jerry (Matthew Lillard) is an irresponsible businessman who can’t commit to his great girlfriend, Dan (Seth Green) is an asthmatic medical doctor who’s afraid of almost everything and Tom (Dan Shepard) embellishes most things about his life to make him appear more successful than he really is.

Billy was the adventurer of the group and his death makes them reminisce about being young and carefree. They climb into their old tree house after Billy’s funeral and look into an old chest that held their keepsakes. There they find a treasure map that Billy left that leads to the legendary D.B. Cooper’s stolen money. In the 1970's Cooper jumped out of an airplane with ths loot and was never found. So the guys take off on an adventure of their own to track it down.

After little preparation and no experience whatsoever, they embark on a canoe trip that involves rapids and waterfalls. But, since they were intrigued by the Cooper story as boys, nothing deters the three as they pursue their risky treasure hunt.

The guys encounter a number of scary things on their trip. A canoe ride tosses them into icy waters, they meet up with a curious bear and stumble onto a marijuana farm protected by a couple of mean red necks.

This comedy has its share of laughs, but the best thing about this humorous buddy movie is its three stars. They are affable and seem to really like each other. As goofy and at times annoying their characters are, they appear to have a real affection for one another.

Burt Reynolds adds to the fun as a grizzled hermit that the guys meet up with in the woods.

If it weren’t for these actors, director Steven Brill (Mr Deeds) wouldn’t have a likeable comedy on his hands. Their protective actions toward each other interrupted by numerous rankings, shoving and playful jabs, ring true.

Even though there’s the prerequisite bathroom humor I liked Without A Paddle much more than I expected, and its due to the relationship the stars have on screen.

Without a Paddle

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