Three friends, whose lives have been drifting apart, reunite for the funeral of a fourth childhood friend. When looking through their childhood belongings, they discover a trunk which contained details on a quest their friend was attempting. It revealed that he was hot on the trail of the $200,000 that went missing with airplane hijacker D.B. Cooper in 1971. They decide to continue his journey, but do not understand the dangers they will soon encounter. Written by
Tom, Jerry (!), Billy and Dan are four young kids who fantasise about going on a treasure hunting adventure in the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest. A legendary rascal called D B Cooper has botched a million dollar heist and left the money in the mountains. The kids make a pact that some day, somehow, they will find that money. Years later, Billy is killed in an accident and the rest reunite for his funeral.
Tom (Dax Shepard) is now a sleaze, who cannot hold a steady job to save himself. Jerry (Matthew Lillard) is bored to death in a dull office and by a nagging girlfriend and Dan (Seth Green) has become a very wimpy doctor. Their childhood sense of curiosity and adventure has been extinguished. That is until they happen upon D B Cooper's treasure map in their old tree house gang hut.
Desperate for one last act of stupidity before acknowledging their thirties, the trio sets off on a rafting/camping trip, with D B's treasure as their ultimate goal. Of course, many obstacles and disasters prevent them from getting there so easily. Sounds like a grown-up Goonies? It is. And it's loads of fun.
Without A Paddle is funny and exciting, with non-stop action and set pieces. Great widescreen photography, pretty scenery and a particularly gentle score make for perfect escapism. There is not one second of boredom. Shepard, Green and Lillard (as always) are brilliant together. Chemistry is difficult to conjure up with three main characters, but they pull it off perfectly.
As an Indiana Jones-lite coming-of-age comedy, with the tiniest bit of character drama, Without A Paddle succeeds in every area. But not really a film you would want to watch again.
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