Three childhood friends reunite to go on a
treasure hunt for D.B. Cooper's legendary bounty.
Without a Paddle (2004)
Directed by Steven Brill
Written by Jay Leggett and Mitch Rouse
Starring Seth Green, Matthew Lillard, Dax Shepard,
Ethan Suplee, Abraham Benrubi, Rachel Blanchard,
Christina Moore, Burt Reynolds, Bonnie Somerville
I always thought comedies were supposed to be at least partially funny. Remarkably, Without a Paddle didn't make me even chuckle. It's a dull attempt at juvenile comedy that was in desperate need of an R-rating. The PG-13 score just bogs it down to the point of unrecognizability and definitely hampers the comedic talents of Seth Green, Matthew Lillard, and Dax Shepard, all of whom keep this thing watchable with their terrific chemistry. There are so many opportune moments for great comedy that are all squandered. The search for D.B. Cooper's lost bounty is a great premise too. What a wasted premise.
After the sudden death of their best friend, three childhood friends reunite with plans to finish what their dead friend started and find D.B. Cooper's money. Dan (Green), Jerry (Lillard), and Tom (Shepard) embark into the Oregon wilderness to find Cooper's loot, and instead run afoul of some redneck weed growers who want them dead. Also, they run into a grungy Burt Reynolds, who plays Cooper's partner Del. There's two scenes with a bear that seemed like they were supposed to be funny, but just came off as uninspired.
Ultimately, what keeps this from being a total loss is the heartfelt message that the real treasure is what we get out of life. It's up to us to find that special meaning in our everyday lives. That's a solid message. If only the film around it didn't completely suck.