Without A Paddle

Without A Paddle

****

Reviewed by: Gator MacReady

This Boxing Day, we are spoiled with two treasure hunt movies. You can go see the insufferable National Treasure, or the very funny and exciting Without A Paddle. The Gator orders you to see the latter. Or else!

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.

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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 DB 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 DB'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 wide screen 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. Definitely a movie you will have fun watching again and again.

Reviewed on: 23 Dec 2004
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Three school friends meet up as respectable, bored adults and decide to go on a treasure hunt.
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Josh Morrall **

Director: Steven Brill

Writer: Jay Leggett, Mitch Rouse

Starring: Matthew Lillard, Seth Green, Dax Shepard, Burt Reynolds, Ray Baker, Ethan Suplee, Abraham Benrubi, Antony Starr, Nadine Bernecker, Danielle Cormack, David Stott, Bonnie Somereville

Year: 2004

Runtime: 95 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: US/New Zealand

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