PG-13 Dir: Ellory Elkayem | Paramount | 90 min.
Fusion3600 | January 28th, 2012
Plot: What’s it about?
Ben (Oliver James) and Zach (Kristopher Turner) are freshmen in high school and while they’re good friends, the two are quite different. Ben is reserved and perhaps even awkward at times, while Zach likes to cause some trouble and has better social skills than his friend. On the first day of school, Ben finds himself head over heels for Heather (Madison Riley), the school’s environmental activist who also happens to be quite attractive. He never makes that love connection, but a decade down the road, life throws him a second chance of sorts. With another chance to win over Heather, can Ben put his best foot forward and reveal his true feelings? And since he will have to venture into the wilderness to find her, can he and Zach also survive the wilds of nature?
Without a Paddle was one of the lamest movies I’ve ever seen, populated with untalented leads and ineffective humor. So of course, now we have a sequel and also of course, it is direct to video. At bad as this looks, at least it doesn’t have the same miserable leads as the original, right? While I was glad I didn’t have to endure Seth Green or Matthew Lillard again, this sequel is about as poorly crafted as the original. I do think this is a funnier movie, if just because the leads are a little more capable and Jerry Rice turns in a memorable performance. The writing is just what you’d expect, rehashed and warmed over fart jokes and other lowbrow stuff, with little in terms of fresh content. So if you’re a fan of movies that recycle old jokes and make no attempt to be fresh or original, then by all means, give this one a rental.
Video: How does it look?
Without a Paddle: Nature’s Calling is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. This is a great transfer, one that really lets the beautiful outdoor photography shine. The wilderness scenes are what stand out here, with lush greens and natural browns, this is some beautiful scenery, without question. Overall detail is strong, especially in close ups, but even wider shots look refined, with the scenic material in particular. I wouldn’t call this reference level or even close, but the movie looks terrific and anyone who watches should be satisfied.
Audio: How does it sound?
A Dolby TrueHD 5.1 option is present, but this is a standard dialogue driven comedy mix, despite the film’s setting in the great outdoors. I do think some wilderness ambience could have added a lot to the experience, but the surrounds remain absent for the most part. A few scenes spike up the rear channels a touch, but there are infrequent. The music has good life however and the vocals sound crystal clear. This disc also includes subtitles in English, Spanish, French, and Portuguese.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes three brief featurettes, an outtakes reel, and some deleted scenes.
- (2.35:1) Aspect Ratio
- Video Codec: AVC
- Audio: Dolby TrueHD
- Theatrical Trailer
- Audio Commentary
- Deleted Scene(s)
- Digital Copy
- 1 Disc Set