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Without a Paddle
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Reviews & Ratings for
Without a Paddle More at IMDbPro »

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71 out of 89 people found the following review useful:

A fun time

7/10
Author: jordanandashley from Calgary, Alberta
4 September 2004

Without a Paddle was a good movie if you're looking for nothing more than a laugh. Going to see this movie will pretty much guarantee a night well spent and a good time out. Although, this movie is pretty cheesy. The plot is cheesy. The laughs are cheesy. But, luckily it has some genuinely funny moments too to bring the movie through to its end. The acting is mediocre at best, but great acting isn't necessarily needed for a movie of this kind.

Nobody expected it to be an Oscar winner. Also, this movie doesn't need to get its laughs from raunchy moments and attempts at teenager humour like some other "road trip" movies. Overall, this movie is pretty good for its kind and would be a good date film or a good movie to see with friends.

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52 out of 61 people found the following review useful:

Absolutely hilarious!

Author: Chris Gavez (croatiansensation29@yahoo.ca) from Canada
23 January 2005

Okay folks, now, I am not the type of guy that enjoys toilet humour in films, but this one I am a sucker for. This is just a hilarious movie! I guess it just reminds me a lot of the times that friends and I used to go camping.

The story is about 3 childhood friends, who are brought together after the untimely death of another childhood friend. Going back to the treehouse that they used to hang out at, they find a treasure map from their dead friend, and decide to go on the trip to find the money. Along the way, they encounter everything from a bear, tree-hugging hotties, and a couple of pot growing rednecks.

This film has some of the funniest scenes that I have seen in a long time. Again, a lot of it is toilet humour, and people looking for a serious comedy, may not get the humour and walk away in disgust. The scene with the paper bags had me rolling on the floor. One of the funniest scenes in a long time. Plus, there are a lot of Star Wars references in this film, and that is always a plus from me! Check out this film, you will be pleasantly surprised! I guess I have not lost all hope in newer comedies as previously thought.

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51 out of 66 people found the following review useful:

Better and More Clever Than I Expected

7/10
Author: Eric H Johnson from SC, USA
8 September 2004

The whole rating system is kind of skewed. Some people rated this film low because it wasn't Larwrence of Arabia but then it wasn't meant to be. It's like comparing actors when they play different roles. You can only really compare them playing the same role.

Anyway I went to the film expecting a goofy stoner type of mindless entertainment. Just a laugh. But I was pleasantly surprised that not only was it funny but some deeper thought had gone into it. The plot was more substantial than I expected, there were bits of philosophy sprinkled throughout which accentuated the positive side of life, and the cast was pretty good too. I'm not sure what inspired Burt Reynolds to play his character but he did it well as did all of the players.

But mainly the movie was funnier than hell. I almost embarrassed myself I laughed so hard during the first bear sequence. The image of Mott saying 'help' as he looked back while being carried off had me laughing way too high way too long but it and some other scenes were hilarious and I couldn't help it then either.

All in all a good film for the genre. And surprisingly while I think it appeals to the stoner crowd it's cool in that it incorporates it without promoting it though it doesn't avoid it either. In fact I was struck by the fact that the bad guys were red neck smokers and the good guys were dopey beer drinkers but apparently nothing more.

Lastly the film cleverly pays homage to other films throughout. Deliverance, The Matrix, and others are covered and probably a few I missed.

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52 out of 76 people found the following review useful:

Funny, Funny, Funny!

8/10
Author: MG Arnold (rabblebabble) from Baltimore, MD
18 August 2004

I got free tickets to see the movie, part of a local radio station's promotion. I didn't expect much, but hey, who can turn down free tickets? I was right about free tickets and wrong about the movie. I didn't expect much and was incredibly surprised. This is one of the funniest movies of the year.

Don't expect cerebral humor. You won't get it here. In fact some of the humor is just plain gross. It's physical and at times crude potty humor. And if you're a stuffy grown-up who just can't let go and enjoy yourself for an hour and a half, then don't bother going to see Without a Paddle. But it you want to cut loose and have fun and laugh 'til you hurt, then this is the movie for you.

Seth Green, as always, plays it straight and ends up being the funniest one of all. And in Without a Paddle he certainly shows that he is one of the most self-assured, well-adjusted people on the planet, or he wouldn't have been able to handle a script that was one big "Pick on Seth" Festival. Green's character, Dan, is phobic, funny, and feckless. Poor Dan can't catch a break throughout the whole movie, but he sure keeps on trying, and in the end he's still short but a mighty big man. We just gotta hope he buys a new cell phone, and once you see the movie, you'll know why.

Lillard still is reminiscent of Shaggy from both Scooby Doo movies, but man oh man, that dude sure can surf a canoe like no one else. More than just a surfer dude, though, Lillard's character, Jerry, turns out to be the deep one who proves a spiritual anchor for his two childhood buddies, both during the adventure and after. Well sort of...as spiritual as Without a Paddle gets. Not anything sappy. Just enough to give it that "Awwww..." factor.

Burt Reynolds has come a long way from his Cosmo centerfold days in his appearance in Without a Paddle, but his character still seems to be stuck in the glory days of the 70's in many ways. Delightful, charming, and crotchety all at the same time, Reynolds is a cute addition to the cast.

Hick farmers, stoned doggies, "natural" beauties, a nasty sheriff, and a third childhood buddy round out the main characters, along with some secondary folks. Stereotypes abound, anything even coming close to sentiment is closely followed by more laughs, and a message is thrown in seemingly only as a token. The only bad thing is that sex is thrown in as a token too. Way too much of it, and it seems like a distraction rather than an addition to the humor. The worst of it is that the sex makes it less of a film for family members to enjoy together. Too bad, otherwise it's a great film for non-uptight parents and their kids.

This is not going to be an Oscar nominee. It's probably not the highlight of anyone's movie career. But I'll bet it was a heck of a lot of fun to make. And it's one funny film to watch. I highly recommend it!

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27 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

Rolling with laughter

7/10
Author: Michael Bo (michael.bo@pol.dk) from Copenhagen, Denmark
27 April 2005

"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.

Recommended. Absolutely.

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30 out of 43 people found the following review useful:

Surprisingly brilliant

8/10
Author: CELTIC_19 from United Kingdom
22 July 2005

To be honest, I was expecting a bit of a disaster with this movie but it turned out to be far better than I thought. Sure! It's no classic, has its flaws but it just refuses to take itself seriously. The three leads are very strong - Seth Green just edging it cos hes just adorable in this! Some very, VERY funny moments in this, maybe a little too many moments where the films tries to over emphasise some messages but that will be clear when you've seen the film. Also a total "where have I seen you before" moment with the girl from Clueless! However, I fully recommend you give this film a try, you won't be disappointed! 8/10 for comedy with a heart!

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13 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Lots of silly laughs,action and adventures in a funny movie

6/10
Author: ma-cortes
22 February 2007

The film talks about a trio friends(Seth Green,Dax Shepard,Matthew Lillard),later the death a childhood's friend ,they propose the making a hick by canoe into woods of Oregon territory.Their aim is the looking for of D.B Cooper bounty for carrying out the promise they made when were little boys .Cooper was a mythic high-jacker(nowadays famous by character played by Muse Watson in ¨Prison Break¨)who jumped from the airplane(1971) and parachuted,disappearing posteriorly,although his bounty was partially found.The misfit group fulfill a canoeing along the Columbia river where find numerous risks,rapid streams,waterfalls and get worse, besides in the surface encounters dangerous animals like a bear and a drug-cultivating rednecks.But also they know a beautiful girls(Rachel Blanchard and Christina Moore) living on a tree and an older mountain man(Burt Reynolds).

The picture mingles comedy,adventures,action,cynical sense of humor and is pretty bemusing.It's a crossover among ¨Deliverance¨even with the presence of Burt Reynolds and ¨City slickers¨as a Philadelphia young people who are going to countryside excursion.The movie displays several ingredients for the entertaining as glimmer outdoors,stirring canoeing,sexy-girls and thrilling pursuits.The humor is intelligent and bold though sometimes is gross-out.Most of the laughters and sight gags galore work acceptably,especially the jokes between the three friends,as when they flee of the dangerous rednecks and dropped underwater or when the damp trio sleep gather together.Wonderful landscapes are splendidly reflected by the cameraman Jonathan Brown and appropriate musical score by Christophe Beck.The motion picture is professionally directed by Steven Brill. Rating : Passable and amusing.

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21 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Brown Bag Humor

7/10
Author: RARubin from United States
6 April 2005

This PG 13 comedy has been greatly maligned by some big time critics, the New York Times and other's. I think the main irritation is the homosexual eroticism, a joke if you will about Deliverance style banjo boys and close quarter survival in the nude. Some may be offended, sensitive gay's, little old Grandmothers, and redneck tobacco sputters. I assure you; however, this is a funny movie. City Slickers 1 and 2 covered this ground once before, but frankly, I liked Without a Paddle more. It's sentimental for all the right reasons. The boys truly love each other and when they become twenty something's, they retain some of their boyish quirks, each with a flaw, the short, picked-on boy grows up to be the short picked on doctor. You get the idea.

The Cascade Mountains both real and simulated is a beautiful green backdrop to the slapstick antics of angry bears and pot growing dummies. The tree girls are a breakdown and laugh idea. Their defense of a tree is brown bag humor, but gee, that hits a visceral laugh note in even the stuffiest fool.

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23 out of 39 people found the following review useful:

Predictable and forgettable, but lots of fun

Author: pyrocitor from Ontario, Canada
16 October 2004

What sounds like your average, everyday sort of male bonding roadtrip film is essentially...well, just that, in fact. Three childhood friends (Seth Green, Matthew Lilard, Dax Sheppard) reunite at a friend's funeral, and go off on a camping trip downstream to try and find the lost treasure they always dreamed of finding in their youth in his honour. They promptly and predictably fall into all sorts of mishaps in the wild and really give a bad reputation to man's survival ethic.

This kind of comedy is always somewhat stifled when a life lesson is included: in the case of Without a paddle the message is 'Appreciate the life you have...you never know how long it will last'. Unfortunately, we go to a film like this to be entertained, not for morals, and its inclusion merely deters from the fun.

The three leads are what make the film decently funny: Seth Green is excellent as he begrudgingly reveals his various phobias from everything from the dark to ceran wrap. ('I'm afraid it might get stuck over my head, it's very sticky) Matthew Lilard puts his wide range of comic facial expressions to good use, and Dax Shepard is always a source of laughs as the tough-guy slacker of the group.

The comedic material is mostly original stuff, but there's nothing outstanding to be seen, apart from a few memorable moments. (one finds Dax Shepard riding his motorcycle into the graveyard at the burial of his friend, and bellowing out to the funeral attendees 'Where did you guys park?') The inclusion of Burt Reynolds' crazy mountain man is a comedic plus, but the nature loving hippy-girls and uncouth drug traffickers which pop up periodically aren't as funny as they should be. In fact, such can be said for the entire movie.

The odd laugh will definitely turn up, but there are many better comedies around, so unless you're simply up for an evening of mostly forgettable fun, you might want to leave Without a Paddle wallowing in the shallows.

6.5/10

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11 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Not quite sh!t creek!

6/10
Author: Shawn Watson from The Penumbra
1 October 2006

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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