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Without a Paddle: Nature's Calling (2009)

PG-13 | | Adventure, Comedy | Video 13 January 2009
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Zach and Ben have been best buddies since they were in grade school. They were those "two guys" that we all know, opposites, but still the same kid. Their friendship continued through High ... See full summary »

Director:

Ellory Elkayem

Writer:

Stephen Mazur
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Cast

Cast overview:
Oliver James ... Ben
Kristopher Turner ... Zach
Rik Young ... Nigel
Madison Riley ... Earthchild / Heather
Jerry Rice ... Hal Gore
Amber McDonald Amber McDonald ... Thunderstorm
Cory Bossom Cory Bossom ... Young Ben
Derek Nolan Derek Nolan ... Young Zach
Madison Bontempo ... Young Heather
Robert Blanche ... Massey
Todd A. Robinson ... Overton (as Todd Robinson)
Ellen Albertini Dow ... Mrs. Bessler
Danny Belrose ... Bar Patron
Mason Knight ... Kyle
Will Cuddy ... Lyle
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Storyline

Zach and Ben have been best buddies since they were in grade school. They were those "two guys" that we all know, opposites, but still the same kid. Their friendship continued through High School. Zach continually got them in trouble due to his carefree existence, and Ben was oblivious to everything as he became smitten by the girl of his dreams. Just as Ben got the nerve to pursue her, she moved out of the neighborhood, leaving Ben devastated for many years to come. Twelve years later, Ben & Zach, now in their mid-20's, still close friends, but have drifted apart due to making different choices in life. Ben is overworked and doesn't spend time doing the things he loves. He buries himself day and night in his work at a law firm. The only thing outside of work Ben has focused on is his life-long crush on the girl he met years ago in high school. Zach, an easy-going guy who enjoys everything he does, happily spends his days taking care of the elderly at a nursing home. Zach's only ... Written by Paramount Home Entertainment

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Three guys. One chance. No plan.

Genres:

Adventure | Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for crude sexual humor and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 January 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Without a Paddle: Nature's Calling See more »

Filming Locations:

Portland, Oregon, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$6,300,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Connections

References Beverly Hills Cop (1984) See more »

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User Reviews

Not great but entertaining
11 April 2017 | by vchimpanzeeSee all my reviews

In 1996, Ben is a high school freshman. On his first day, he is embarrassed by his mother. His friend Zach tries to teach him to be cool, without much success. Then Ben sees this pretty girl named Heather trying to get the kids to sign her petition to stop dissecting of animals. Ben thinks Heather likes him, and he likes her. Though he remains the nerd who gets laughed at when his mother continues to embarrass him, Ben is determined to get Heather to like him. However, Heather gets kicked out of school for going too far with her protests.  

In the present, Ben is an idealistic lawyer who defends bad guys and does other things that make him uncomfortable. And the work just keeps getting piled on. He is miserable. Zach is a nurse in a nursing home, he is happy, and everyone likes him. Mrs. Bessler is near death and she knows it. She wants to see Heather one last time before she dies, and no one has been able to find her. The last time anyone heard from here, she was in Oregon. Zach believes Ben can help him, and he calls. Ben thinks he can't take time off, but Zach is very persuasive.

Road Trip!

One more detail. One of the cases Ben was working on involved some men who shot up a fast food place that couldn't get their order right. Or something like that. They want revenge on anyone who stands in the way of keeping them out of jail. And someone with binoculars is following our heroes.

Oh, one more little detail. It seems Heather has an annoying British stepbrother named Nigel. He simply must be part of the search, and he brings along way too much stuff. And he won't stop talking. Still, the guys take him along and are relieved when they arrive in the Oregon town where Heather was last heard from. At the entrance to the town, there is a great looking truss bridge.

Nigel leaves the guys to pick up equipment and supplies and make the financial arrangements. Zach and Ben go to a bar to ask about Heather. Yes, they know her. Her name is Earthchild now, and her friend is Thunderstorm. But it is unlikely she is still alive. There is a wall of photos of people who went into the nearby woods and were never heard from again. There are rumors of a Sasquatch type character. Someone in the bar takes a photo of our heroes and adds it to the wall, believing they are next. 

Determined to continue, the guys press on, and Nigel rejoins them, taking all that stuff even though he really won't need most of it in those woods. The first thing they have to do is take a raft down an exciting river with rapids. At least Nigel can provide one advantage: he is an experienced cockswain. That means he can help the guys stay safe in their raft. It's quite an adventure.

Eventually, Nigel gets separated from Ben and Zach. We discover who has been following them, and there is plenty of excitement and physical comedy. Ben and Zach couldn't possibly have survived, right? Wrong.

And what about the girls? Well, there are two possibilities, since they are both in the credits. One is that someone tells the tale of what happened to them and we see flashbacks. The other is that they are tough but gorgeous survivalists who have managed to stay alive in these woods and contribute to the effort of preserving them. In either case, the shelter is quite fancy and shows the girls to be quite intelligent and resourceful.

And what about the Sasquatch? Fans of football great Jerry Rice may be the only ones to appreciate this long-lost relative of Al Gore, a determined environmentalist who has a theory so ridiculous it makes Gore look like Dick Cheney.  Rice does not have a future as an actor.

Also ridiculous: the animated squirrels. It's great work for those who produced them, but this movie is too naughty for the young children who might just be the only ones to enjoy their antics.

I am aware this is a sequel. No room here to say more.

But if you haven't seen that one, this is a fun movie. No one will win awards for acting, but Kristopher Turner is quite likable and Rik Young eventually shows he is more than just a spoiled brat, although he is quite appealing in a way from the time we meet him. Oliver James has kind of an uptight clueless quality but eventually shows us some degree of substance.

The guys learn a lot about each other, and this movie turns out to be more than just silly comedy.

The villains have a lot in common with The Three Stooges, which is good news for our heroes, but things do get kind of scary.

The girls are gorgeous and do an okay job of acting.

One thing is certain: this movie hammers home a pro-environment message. The scenery is gorgeous like the girls, and the idea is to keep it that way.

Can the entire family enjoy it? Maybe. More cautious parents might not care for the suggestive dialogue, and it is implied the girls are more than just friends. On the other hand, there is more sexual humor that suggests otherwise.  There is cartoon violence including the favorite type of fans of the longest-running show that had Tom Bergeron as a host. The difference is that it really does hurt and we see what happens afterward.

It's a fun adventure.


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