Reviewed by: Lacey Mical (Callahan) Walker
|Featuring:||Seth Green, Matthew Lillard, Dax Shepard, Abraham Benrubi, Rachel Blanchard|
|Producer:||Donald De Line|
“The call of the wild, the thrill of adventure. The mistake of a lifetime.”
This movie is a prime example of just how depraved our culture has become. Had I not been committed to writing this review, I would have walked out after the first ten minutes. I hope that people will benefit from reading this by being spared the same experience.
As the opening credits roll, we see flashback footage of four young teenage boys growing up together in the 1980s. The four are obviously inseparable pals, enjoying a typical American childhood with camping, biking, a tree house, pranks, dares, even a “blood brothers” covenant.
Fast-forward fifteen years… Our stars have grown up and taken very different paths. Dan (Seth Green) is an M.D. with his own successful practice. He longs for a steady relationship, but is too shy to pursue getting to know any ladies.
Jerry (Matthew Lillard) works a typical 9-5 suit and briefcase job. He is scared to commit to a lifetime relationship, a fact that frustrates his live-in girlfriend who is becoming impatient for a proposal.
Tom (Dax Shepard) is an unemployed, under-achieving motorcycle dude with an inferiority complex.
The forth friend, Billy, has died in a kite surfing accident, and this tragedy is what brings the three remaining friends together. After gathering at his funeral, they reminisce at the tree house the four once shared. There, they are reminded of a trip they had planned throughout their boyhood, spurred on by Billy’s excitement to locate the $200,000.00 lost decades ago by a bank robber somewhere in a remote region of the Cascades.
So, armed with their treasure map, compass, and a nostalgic sense of adventure, the three set off on a canoe trip through the Oregon wilderness.
Along the way, the men encounter a variety of characters, including: two beautiful, scantily clad environmentalists who have set up camp in a tree; a grizzly bear that attempts to adopt Dan as her cub; two marijuana farmers who, upset when the three friends find their illegal crop, pursue them with knives, guns, and explosives; and a gruff, old mountain man (Burt Reynolds) who ultimately helps the three learn a lesson which is the moral of the story.
The premise of this movie is simple and good. It could have been both entertaining and fun to play out. Unfortunately, screenwriters Jay Leggett and Mitch Rouse chose to weave together a series of crude jokes; twisted, adolescent pranks; foul language and sexual perversion, with nauseating results.
Filthy words peppered the script, as did using our Lord’s name in vain. There was also suggestive dialogue, and perverted sexual references.
The violence was not excessive for a PG-13 rating, but it was present:
In one scene, Dan is forced to bite off, chew, and swallow a bite of a whole, freshly killed animal brought to him by a bear.
One of the marijuana-growing thugs chops the head off a fish and then talks to the fish’s body, waving it around with blood and insides showing.
The three men get into a fight with the two thugs, and the five are shown beating each other and, at one point, biting each other.
The men are shot at several times, and Tom’s arm is grazed by a bullet. He doesn’t realize until later, and then Dan sews it shut. We see the threaded needle going in and out of his skin.
Perverse sexual content is present at every turn. I see no point in re-hashing the debacle in this review, but it included homosexual references, lewd humor, crude bodily gestures, etcetera.
When Dan, Tom and Jerry are running through the marijuana field being chased by the two thugs and their dogs, the field catches on fire, and as the three friends breathe in the smoke, they become “high.” The dogs are also affected, and they fall over, imagining constellations in the night sky. The audience in the theater where I was sitting laughed and clapped as the drugs took effect. This “accidental” drug use isn’t portrayed as negative, but if anything it is shown as a fun pastime.
The moral of this story is: Life is its own treasure. The pursuit of money is shown as empty and meaningless, and we are meant to learn that one should give up anything just to live for one more minute.
“Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.” --Luke 17:33
It is sad that people will leave the theater after taking in this show not having discovered life’s real treasure—a lasting relationship with Jesus Christ. When we know that peace which only He can bring, then and only then can true contentment be ours—both in this life on Earth, and afterwords.
Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Heavy