Written by Jason Franz
Without a Paddle is the story of three childhood playmates (Seth Green, Matthew Lillard and Dax Shepard), re-united by the death of a close friend. The four young boys dreamed of one day finding the lost fortune of legendary hijacker, D.B. Cooper. After the funeral of their friend, the trio discovers that their departed friend had kept the dream alive and was hot on the trail of Cooper’s treasure before he died.
In memory of their friend, the three continue whe…e he left off and head out on a white water adventure to claim the loot. This being a comedy, they run into many colorful characters on their journey, including “backwoods” small town law enforcement, a couple of tree hugging hippie chicks and two of the dumbest weed farmers on the planet. After surviving what Tom (Dax Shepard) calls “normal white water behavior”, a run in with a bear and the heavily armed weed farmers, the three adventurers find themselves in the care of D.B. Coopers partner, played by none other than Burt Reynolds. After a few twists and turns, tumbles and gunplay, the trio finds themselves safely home with some new experiences under their belts and some much needed self realization.
The audio track was above average, but not reference quality by any means. There was limited use of the rear channels and often the bass wasn’t as pronounced as the action on the scene demanded. Overall the voices were very audible, but the lack of directional movement in the track was off putting in some of the river scenes. I would like to point out that during one scene there was some exceptional audio effects with the rain, some of the best I have heard, which was surprising considering the lack of directional detail in some of the other more action driven scenes in the movie.
Presented 2.35:1 widescreen the picture was pretty decent. Clean, crisp and without major flaws. Some of the forest scenes (the majority of the film is in the woods) seemed a bit flat, maybe undersaturated or lacking contrast. But overall a decent picture quality.
Nothing earth shattering in the extras department in this release. There is a Directors Commentary from Steven Brill, a video commentary with the cast and director, a few MTV featurettes and some additional/extended scenes with an optional directors commentary for each. Pretty bland stuff, for what I thought was a fairly funny movie.
Without a Paddle is by no means a comedic hit, but it has enough laughs and action packed moments to keep you interested. By far the biggest surprise of the film was newcomer Dax Shepard. I think his performance alone is worth checking this one out.
Special Features List
- Audio Commentaries
- Alternate/Deleted Scenes
- MTV Featurettes
- Theatrical Trailer