July 9, 2006

Movie Review: RV

You are about to enter the Twilight Zone, a place where movies bring with them a strange sense of familiarity, but the faces are different. That was how I felt the further into this movie I got. I know I had seen something like this before, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Then it dawned on me, this could have been known as Colorado Vacation, or perhaps Vacation Camper. Whichever way you slice it, this is a Vacation movie with a different cast and different names.

If and when you see this movie, instead of Munro, think Griswold, instead of Robin Williams and Cheryl Hines, think Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo, instead of Jeff Daniels, think of Randy Quaid. The kids can stay as they were cast differently in each of those movies anyway. It was amazing the similarities that can be drawn between RV and the Vacation franchise, actually this probably would have been better as a Chevy Chase movie. As it stands this one just did not click with me.

Bob Munro (Williams) is introduced as a family man, sharing a moment with his young daughter. We jump ahead a number of years and we are reintroduced to Bob, a workaholic who is trying to plan a Hawaii getaway with his family. He has a heartless boss who needs him for a presentation in Colorado, they were in LA, which conflicts, of course, with said Hawaii trip. Bob gets the great idea of renting a RV and driving the family to a vacation spot of his childhood. Of course, this is all a ruse so he could make it to the meeting and still have a vacation.

One of the things that was really off putting was that the Munro family was just not all that likeable. The kids were stand offish, rude, and in need of some discipline, parents weren't really much of a couple. They play this up through the movie and it just didn't really agree with me. Then they meet the Gornicke's, a sweet and wacky RV family that the Munro's meet in one of the RV parks along the way. This sets up a family versus family conflict with the Munro's playing up how not nice they are and trying to avoid any further contact with the sweet hippy family.

What else can I say about this flick? It wasn't funny, the jokes played themselves out rather quickly. When they thought they caught onto something funny, they would play it way beyond the edge of it actually being funny.

The best thing about the movie was seeing a couple of alum from the defunct Arrested Development. Will Arnett, AD's Gob, plays Todd, Bob Munro's boss, and Tony Hale, AD's Buster, has a cameo at a party early on thrown by Todd.

Bottomline. The movie was not really offensive, it was just dull. The story just plodded on, everyone knew where it was heading so there were no real surprises. Williams seems awfully restrained here, there is very little life to his performance, which is a shame. This is worth no more than a rental.

Not Recommended.
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