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
"Where are we?", Seth Green asks, clueless, as the guys are standing in a street in a nondescript little Oregon village. "Corner of Bumfuck and You Got a Purty Mouth", Matthew Lillard snarls in way of answer.
Now, you need to know and appreciate John Boorman's thriller classic 'Deliverance' in order to get the full implications of this scene and countless others in 'Without a Paddle'. The film can be enjoyed by all & sundry, but those in the know will be rolling with laughter more often.
'Without a Paddle' establishes itself in a niche of its own among goofy modern comedies. It is really well written, not just the one-liners, but also the situations as such and the exposition and development of material. The actors all shine, especially young Dax Shepard as the loser type of the three buddies in their late 20s that go camping and looking for a buried treasure in a canoe up Spirit River. There they meet up with wild man Burt Reynolds, who was acclaimed for his performance in the original 'Deliverance', actually the character that Shepard inherited in this 'remake'.
There are no actual thrills in 'Without a Paddle' (unlike 'Deliverance'!!!), it sets its sight on glorious comedy. The huge surprise is that the gags are relatively 'tasteful', for want of a better word. It is not ALL about tits, dicks and feces.
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