Robin Williams is struggling to keep his job, and struggling to keep his sanity in the face of his teenage children (particularly daughter Joanna “JoJo” Levesque). This all becomes more difficult when his boss forces him to cancel a trip to Hawaii and head off to Colorado instead. Williams rents an RV, packs his family in, and hits the road for misadventures and hijinx.
And everything plays out much as one would expect it to. The film looks slick enough, but it might just as well h…ve been made twenty years ago with Chevy Chase in the lead role and the words “National Lampoon’s” above the title. The gags feel about that vintage, anyway.
As is so often the case, a rather dispiriting film is present in a technically superb package. The score sounds terrific, as does the incidental music (in a scene where Williams’ son is listening to hip-hop, the bass is enough to shake the plaster from the ceiling). The environmental effects are very nicely handled, as well. There are, however, a few instances of the dialogue being a bit overmodulated.
This edition is the fullscreen version, so point will inevitably be lost for that, though the pan-and-scan job has been done as well as these things can be. The image is extremely sharp, and has terrifically bright, vibrant colours. Blacks are fine, too, and there are no problems with grain or edge enhancement. As good as fullscreen gets, essentially.
Director Barry Sonnenfeld’s commentary track is amusing enough, and he provides plenty of anecdotes recounting the misadventures that the production encountered. There are five featurettes, focussing variously on Sonnenfeld, Williams, Levesque, the RV, and the septic tank gag, but these are all promotional and of very limited interest. “RV Reveries” is rough footage of Williams’ wife and children each singing a song in the RV. There are five storyboard-to-film sequences, one alternate scene, and the trailer. Plenty to select on the menu screen in other words, but not a lot of substance.
One of those movies you forget even as you are watching it. The disc itself is pretty, but the extras are rather hollow.
Special Features List
- Director’s Commentary
- Making-of Featurettes
- “RV Reveries”
- Storyboard-to-Film Comparisons
- Alternate Scene