Without a Paddle
Review by Ross Anthony

This is a surprisingly refreshing film. Road trip films often seem to have an inherent drag, but this travel/buddy production never lulls. Perhaps because less than a third of the trip is on the road (hiking and canoeing comprise the other 2/3rds plus). Further, this film has probably got the best action you'll ever see in a stupid comedy. And as long as we're talking about the positives: very good dialogue, strong direction, good good story, solidly filmed, amazing live animal integration, positive theme and yeah, it's even funny.

On the down side, the Seth Green character is admittedly very C3-PO like. You know, the character in the group that periodically interrupts the progress to proclaim how dangerous and irrational the whole journey is. In "Star Wars," C3-PO was annoying. Here Seth's character is annoying, and while Seth has more than his fair share of very strong moments, he also drones at times in the acting department. Additionally, like the three childhood pals searching in the woods for a treasure, we, the audience expect a payoff too -- for enduring such a linear plot. Yes, the action and comedy are good and so we aren't bored, but we expect a payoff. And though the writers have provided a rather cool idea toward the presentation of that payoff -- the actual execution of that idea on film is underwhelming. The moment of truth is rushed. Then that truth, even though laid out fairly well visually, is stated almost verbatim by one of the characters in a language that's not so likely to come from that character. It's not horrible, but viewers deserved a better realization of that scene.

That said, an earlier scene provided probably a more potent nugget: "You can lose all your money and then earn it back. But when you waste your time, you can't get it back."

Overall, good hearty fun!

  • Without a Paddle. Copyright © 2004. Rated PG-13.
  • Starring Dax Shepard, Matthew Lillard, Seth Green, Ethan Suplee, Abraham, Burt Reynolds.
  • Directed by Steven Brill.
  • Screenplay by Jay Leggett and Mitch Rouse.
  • Produced by Donald De Line at Paramount Pictures.

Grade..........................B+ (2.5/4)

Copyright © 1998-2022 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:50:11 PDT