film reel image

film reel image

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

We're the Millers 2013 * * Stars

Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Year: 2013
Rated: R
Rating: * * Stars
Cast: Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts

In terms of summer movies, August always seems to be the month when the most inferior products are put out. We're the Millers (the film I'm reviewing) is no exception. Masquerading as a laugh out loud comedy and coming off as only mildly amusing, "Millers" tells the story of David Burke (played by Jason Sudeikis who channels his inner Vince Vaughn), a "man child" pot dealer who after trying to help a young homeless girl in distress, gets robbed of all his drugs and money (his bosses drugs/money as well). He then becomes indebted to his wealthy drug lord/longtime college friend Brad Gurdlinger (played by Ed Helms who with a certain goofiness, give the film's best performance) for at least $40,000. In order for David to save his own life, he must get across the Mexican border and do a massive drug deal for Brad. If he succeeds in this task, he will pocket $100,000 for himself, his debt will be forgiven, and he'll go on to live another day. One problem: being searched for drugs at the border. Brad's solution: hire a fake family to make it look less suspicious while smuggling the merchandise back into the states (Helm's character states that it is just a smidge of pot, yeah right). In hindsight, this sounds like an interesting premise for a movie. It's just too bad that We're the Millers fails to satisfy. Yeah, it does seem original enough, but in the end, what you get is a borderline, lousy road comedy that may force you to chuckle a few times here and there. Why? Because you probably paid $10 and felt obligated to get the most out your summer movie going experience (the audience that I sat with in the theater echoed this sentiment, you could tell). 

So okay, there are a few big missteps that latch on to "Millers". One is that fact that it's a drowned out laugh fest that tries way too hard to get someone to like it. Second, the film assumes that a bland comedic actor like Jason Sudeikis can carry a full length feature film in general (in certain segments of this monstrosity, he becomes massively unlikable). Third, is that Jennifer Aniston as the fake wife in the fake family, can't pass in the film as well, an exotic dancer (there's a scene where she has to show off her moves to get out of danger/peril. Here's the problem: she can't dance and doesn't come off as flexible or as the role requires, believable). Fourth, there is the constant use of a sort of tired improvisation by the actors that takes hold of certain scenes thereby making them painfully worse. And finally, there is the obvious use of adding unnecessary character situations to keep the plot moving. An example would be a tarantula crawling up someone's pants and biting him in the "you know where". Trust me, this is not funny and it feels artificially simulated like everything else trying to pass off as pungent and laughable.  

One of the bright spots (along with Helms of course) however, is the addition of the fake son for David's fake family. His name is Kenny and he is played by the innocent looking, bright eyed British actor, Will Poulter. Does he give the greatest performance in world? Not exactly. But he looks and fits the part perfectly and becomes the only character you could root for, or even like (barely mind you).  

In conclusion, We're the Millers projects itself as crass, rude, and for the most part, unfunny. With a lead actor that lacks solid comedic chops and a script that feels tired and all too familiar, it's an exercise you'd be better off staying away from (if you do choose to view this flick, avoid the outtakes at the end. They're worse than the film itself). In the last sequence of "Millers", the supposed fake family goes into a witness protection program. Let me put it this way, I'm glad I'm not their next door neighbor.  

Written by Jesse Burleson

No comments:

Post a Comment