Opening with a montage of viral web clips (the double rainbow guy, the surprised kitty, the streaker who runs into a glass door…), We’re The Millers sets the tone early. Just as funny, forgettable and dumb as watching a naked idiot knock himself out, Rawson Marshall Thurber’s comedy is destined to get more hits than likes.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. In fact, it starts off with a fine premise. A low-rent pot dealer loses his stash and ends up having to mule a metric ton of marijuana across the Mexican border to appease his kingpin boss.
Reckoning that a white-bread American family in an RV might slip through a lot easier than a stoner in a stolen car, he recruits an ageing stripper, homeless runaway and an abandoned teen to pose as his wife and kids.
The biggest problem is the casting. The washed-up drug dealer? Respectable-looking Jason Sudeikis. The haggard stripper? Jennifer Aniston. The ASBO kids? Will Poulter and Emma Roberts. Watching clean-cut people pretend to be street-wise tough guys pretending to be clean-cut people just isn’t as killer as it could’ve been.
Maybe a darker-edged film where Mickey Rourke (or the film’s reportedly original lead, Steve Buscemi) plays ‘dad’ exists in an alternative movie-verse, but instead we have beautiful A-listers, signposted set-ups and big, broad laughs.
Everyone does a decent job, but the real stars are the supporting players: Ed Helms as a crime lord, and Nick Offerman with Kathryn Hahn as a ‘real’ family of do-gooders.
The YouTube template comes back for the pivot points: spider-bitten scrotums, embarrassing karaoke and Aniston gyrating around in her undies for the purposes of the trailer (if not the plot).
Any dip into darkness is swiftly covered up with schmaltz, but the jokes keep coming, thick and thicker. Follow the link, watch it, laugh out loud and move on.
It’s predictable, politically incorrect and too long – but a handful of really big chuckles excuse most of the cop-outs. There’s a much edgier film in here somewhere, but this one will definitely do.