TL;DR – About as enjoyable as an overseas destination wedding
Score – 1.5 out of 5 stars
(Viewer discretion is advised even with the general audience trailer)
You know this is a movie I have seen so many times now, to the point I was going to have my review be same as – The Night Before, Dirty Grandpa, Grimsby and on and on and on. It feels like when The Hangover exploded on the screens, and Hollywood realised that people would go watch an R-rated comedy they decided that this would be the only type of R-rated comedy that would sell, so they change the setting and the cast, well actually no, not the cast because you see the same cast members over and over again, I’m looking at you Zac Efron, and the same wacky adventure, with the same jump scare humour, the only difference is trying to outgross the last successful film to see where the line in the sand is. All of this, at best, gets quite boring to watch, and at worse can actually drag down really important issues with it, see Bad Neighbours 2. I would like to say Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates breaks this trend and tries to do something different like Deadpool, but alas not, it is the same old shtick with a new colour of paint over the top.
The basic premise of MADNWD is that Mike (Adam DeVine) and Dave (Zac Efron) are two brothers that sell booze for a living and have a history of bringing the ‘fun’ to family events. Actually, this leads to the only interesting sequence in the entire movie, where during the opening credits we are shown a series of amazing parties only to find out later that this is kind of an idealised view, and in fact, Mike and Dave are a storm of disaster where ever they go. So at the start of the movie their younger sister Jeanie (Stephanie Beard) is getting married and their parents (Stephen Root) set an ultimatum that they can’t come stag to the wedding, and thus have to find dates, so Mike and Dave need dates to the wedding, well you need to give the film props for putting the bare justification of the film in the title. So they go about this by advertising it on Craigslist, which you know is a thing a normal person would do, where they meet Alice (Anna Kendrick) and Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza), who are bad girls pretending to be good to get a free holiday, and of course that is a classy as it sounds.
So what is this film, well it is many things, it’s an ad for Hawaii, and it doubles down on reminding you of better films that were filmed there, I mean if you are literally going on a Jurassic Park tour at least shell out for the music, or maybe they saw what a mess this film was and did not want to be anywhere near it. As well as this, it is a film that leans on some pretty unpleasant stereotypes for laughs. It is also a case point example that just because you have perfect abs, does not mean you would get stuck in bad film after bad film. It is a clear case of rich people be crazy, I mean seriously, I would like to see how much all of that would have cost in real life money, because I would suggest it would be in the range of a hella lot, also, like many movies in this genre, most of this cast would have been arrested at some point in this film. It is indeed a film of many things, but none of them makes a good film.
In the end, I like me some Sci-fi, so as an audience member I am prepared to give movies incredible leeway when it comes to the suspension of disbelief, but Zac Efron not being able to find a date to a wedding is many a step too far. Spend your money elsewhere.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.
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Directed by – Jake Szymanski
Written by – Andrew J. Cohen & Brendan O’Brien
Starring – Zac Efron, Adam DeVine, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza, Stephanie Beard & Stephen Root
Rating – Australia: MA15+; Canada: 14A; NZ: R; UK: 15; USA: R