We're the Millers
Whens the last time you’ve gone on a road trip? Everyone’s been on this trip before. A car ride that’s over five hours long and piles everyone into a small space. They bicker and complain about how this trip feels like an eternity, but end up having an amazing vacation, because their anticipation had really built up from the long trip. This is a story element that’s been done to death in Hollywood. We all know how much of a classic National Lampoon’s Vacation is. But I can understand why. Given that this kind of trip can generate problems, there’s a lot of comic material to tap into.
For me, the best road trip movies need to rely on a couple of factors. The first are the travelers. As long as they have different personalities to play off each other, then the hell their gonna give to each other is going to be really funny. Next are the places they stay at. They either need to be the worst hotels imaginable, the most bizarre places imaginable, or making camping the most uncomfortable accommodations imaginable. Finally, end should be rewarding enough for them to forgive each other and move on with their lives. We’re the Millers tries to enter into the road trip game with their rules.
David Clark (played by Jason Sudeikis) is a slacker and a pot dealer who’s living his dream of doing whatever he wants. Though his friends of college have moved on, he’s keen on remaining single and dealing his drugs. One night, a mugging becomes worse as some thugs steal all of his pot and money. He’s brought in to his supplier, Brad Gurdlinger (played by Ed Helms), who wants to make a deal. David is offered $100,000 to smuggle some pot over the Mexican boarder, and back to Dever. With no other choice, David accepts.
He’s smart enough to know that going into Mexico by himself would be too much of a red flag for boarder patrol. Knowing that families wouldn’t get a second thought, he starts to assemble his new fake family. His wife is a stripper neighbor named Rose O’Reilly (played by Jennifer Aniston). His son is a local dweeb named Kenny (played by Will Poulter). His daughter is a homeless punk named Casey (played by Emma Roberts). This fake family sets out for the most difficult drug smuggling trip ever with another RV family and crazy Mexican drug cartels.
As you can tell, We’re the Millers has set itself up for a very funny story. I thought I was going to get something along the lines of National Lampoon’s Vacation and Pineapple Express. So where’s the comedy? It pop’s up occasionally, usually being a little joke for Jason Sudeikis or someone, but this movie feels very bland. The characters are bland, the villains are bland, the situation’s bland, and even most of the “offensive” jokes are very bland. For an R rated comedy, We’re the Millers feels too tame. If they would have cut a few F words, this could have been an easy PG-13.
One of the biggest problems rest in Jason Sudeikis’ David. It’s not that it’s badly acted (Sudeikis tries his best), it’s just that he’s very unlikable in this movie. He clearly only cares about himself and never for his friends. I know that they’ve made douchebag characters before, and he does learn his lesson, you kind of want this guy do so. There’s even a scene where Kenny get’s bitten by a spider, and David suggests that they all take off, and leave the poor boy on his own. What a dick move! Plus, given the ending, I don’t even know if anyone learned any lessons.
I’ll give this two cheap sombreros out of five. Now that I know the Millers, I wished that I hadn’t. The movie never finds a balance of dark humor and road trip jokes. I can live without We’re the Millers.