Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Starring: Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston
Rating: 3 and a half out of 5 “smidges” of “mari-ju-ana” for this entertaining, albeit very predictable and unevenly paced, comedy. It certainly delivers enough laughs for me to say I liked it, but there were certainly those moments where the pacing lagged awkwardly and of course those moments where I could have called what was coming next. But even with those flaws, it was a fun and mindless time.
The film, first of all, truly benefits most from the times that truly tap into its lead actors’ potential. Jason Sudeikis plays a pot dealer turned smuggler turned pseudo dad in this summer comedy blockbuster, and his raunchy, vulgar banter with Aniston’s stripper turned wife Rose and their fake children Kenny and Casey (played by Will Poulter and Emma Roberts) is almost always hilarious, but can get a little played out for sure. The scenarios they find themselves in are, again, typical but that doesn’t stop them from being amusing.
There were some portions of the film which seemed oddly timed; a little too long and almost, oddly, sentimentally drawn out while others had the familiar speed of a slapstick disaster comedy, which in my opinion worked much better than the former. But, that is not to say those scenes which took their time in this way were boring or lacking their own mildly funny charm, and the very predictably happy end (sorry for the spoilers?) sort of benefited from those scenes, especially because whatever little character development and bonding there was to be had happened in those scenes and made the happy ending that much happier.
So, no this isn’t the most original or carefully constructed comedy; it won’t be the most revolutionary thing that has ever made you laugh but I do feel that it will make you laugh. A lot of the funniest scenes were featured in the trailer, but the movie did sustain itself as a moderately effective comedy. I definitely had fun with this film, but I wouldn’t set expectations too high– it isn’t anything more than it claims to be, so don’t expect it to be and you will probably have a satisfying enough time laughing with, and at, this dysfunctional would-be family as they try to smuggle weed over the Mexican border.