REVIEW: We’re The Millers

13 08 2013

We're the MillersIn “We’re The Millers,” television’s “Breaking Bad” meets film’s “National Lampoon’s Vacation” as mid-level drug dealer David Clark (Jason Sudeikis) enlists a crazy cast to help him smuggle marijuana across the U.S.-Mexico border.  (So in that way, perhaps it’s more like “Maria Full of Grace” meets 2013’s “Identity Thief.”)  This motley crew from near his building includes well-meaning exotic dancer Rose (Jennifer Aniston), tough teenage street rat (Emma Roberts), and an aloof adolescent boy Kenny (Will Poulter) with a passing resemblance to Tintin.

The movie manages to provide a few decent laughs along the journey, though they are largely front-loaded.  “We’re The Millers” starts off with some very clever and witty banter, largely uttered by Sudeikis, who is quickly proving himself to be quite the sultan of snark.  It’s certainly a much better role for him than his bland characters in “Horrible Bosses” and “Hall Pass,” and he could soon be rivaling Paul Rudd for roles.

But the film starts to veer off course in the second half, resorting to more and more ludicrous gags to provide humor.  These ridiculous scenarios often provide their fair share of cringe-worthy moments, enough to make the film feel like it has overstayed its welcome by a solid 30 minutes.  Though I don’t want to say too much, at least “We’re The Millers” doesn’t end by caving to all the road trip, family, or rom-com tropes.

By the time the gag reel rolls, the film essentially arrives at a comedic standstill.  It’s got enough sardonic and standoffish Aniston and sulky Roberts to make anyone roll their eyes.  But it’s also got some good Sudeikis everyman sarcasm and a pretty winning performance from Poulter, playing naive innocence with gusto.  So, in other words, “We’re the Millers” is decidedly average.  C+2stars

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