Genre: Comedy
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Emma Roberts, Nick Offerman, Kathryn Hahn, Will Poulter, Ed Helms
RunTime: 1 hr 50 mins
Rating: M18 (Sexual References and Some Nudity)
Released By: Warner Bros
Official Website: http://www.werethemillers.com/

Opening Day: 
5 September 2013

Synopsis: David Clark (Sudeikis) is a small-time pot dealer whose clientele includes chefs and soccer moms, but no kids—after all, he has his scruples. So what could go wrong? Plenty. Preferring to keep a low profile for obvious reasons, he learns the hard way that no good deed goes unpunished when he tries to help out some local teens and winds up getting jumped by a trio of gutter punks. Stealing his stash and his cash, they leave him in major debt to his supplier, Brad (Ed Helms). In order to wipe the slate clean—and maintain a clean bill of health—David must now become a big-time drug smuggler by bringing Brad’s latest shipment in from Mexico. Twisting the arms of his neighbors, cynical stripper Rose (Aniston) and wannabe customer Kenny (Will Poulter), as well as streetwise teen Casey (Emma Roberts), he devises a foolproof plan. One fake wife, two pretend kids and a huge, shiny RV later, the “Millers” are headed south of the border for a Fourth of July weekend that is sure to end with a bang.

Movie Review:

Ever since “The Hangover” and “Bridesmaids” convinced Hollywood that there was an audience hungry for R-rated comedies, it’s been one profanity-laced affair after another, the latest addition to the line this loosely scripted but well-acted raunch-com ‘We’re the Millers’. Foul-mouthed though it may be, this is like those earlier two movies a slice of vulgar vanilla - and by that we mean a movie that will in the end stick to formula to deliver a crowd-pleasingly safe happily-ever-after ending.

Coined by the team behind the very funny “Wedding Crashers” - Bob Fisher and Steve Faber - and polished by the duo who crafted “Hot Tub Time Machine” - Sean Anders and John Morris, there’s no denying that its premise has comic promise. The joke here is that “the Millers” are but an invention of the small-time middle-aged pot dealer David (Jason Sudeikis) - consisting of a stripper named Rose (Jennifer Aniston), a local runaway named Casey (Emma Roberts) and his young neighbour named Kenny (Will Poulter) - who hatch a plan to recruit a fake family as cover for one major score.

David owes money to his supplier Brad (Ed Helms), and in return for erasing his debt, he is forced to drive to Mexico to smuggle a whole shipment of marijuana over the border. Playing obviously to stereotypes, David’s plan rests on the assumption that a wholesome-looking white-bread family in an RV is less likely to be stopped and inspected for drugs. That’s the setup for a twisted road trip made up of episodic misadventures, consistent bickering and finally of course the obligatory sentimental uplift - is it any surprise that by the end of the movie, the bunch of misfits actually become the all-American family they spend most of their time before mocking?

But such is a movie where the destination is probably less important than the journey itself, and “Dodgeball” director Rawson Marshall Thurber manages enough fitfully amusing gags to make taking this trip worthwhile. A recurring one which the four writers and Thurber milk for maximum hilarity has the Millers running into fellow RV-ers Don and Edie Fitzgerald (Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn) along with their teenage daughter Melissa (Molly Quinn), whom are the exact sort of family the Millers are pretending to be - not only do the adults end up almost having a foursie, Kenny is also caught “kissing” his sister and then his mother by the very girl (i.e. Melissa) that he is taking such lessons for in the first place.

The rest of the best bits are unfortunately already in the trailer, though seeing Kenny demonstrate his way around TLC’s “Waterfalls” and getting bit where it matters by an errant tarantula still is pretty amusing. That should probably also clue you in that there are quite a number of jokes that miss their mark - in particular, one where David asks Kenny to perform sexual favours on a corrupt Mexican cop (Luis Guzman in a cameo) to avoid arrest just feels wrong. A subplot that sees two double-crossed Mexicans - One-Eye (Matthew Willig) and Pablo (Tomer Sisley) - hot on the trail of the Millers also offers little payoff even after they finally confront the Millers.

What the material lacks, the cast however try their darnest to make it for it. Sudeikis strikes a nice balance between being appealing and obnoxious, while Aniston puts her 44-year-old-but-not-looking-any-of-it hot bod to good use especially in showcasing the stripper moves she picked up for this movie. Poulter is surprisingly sweet and likeable as the shy virgin, though Roberts looks too demure to be a runaway rebel. Deserving of special mention here are Offerman and Hahn, the two veterans quite nearly stealing the show with their square-seeming behaviour that one only sees through when the Millers decide to pay them an unannounced visit in their tent in the middle of the night.

And thanks to the game cast, what is in fact an utterly mediocre script for an inspired high-concept comedy turns out passably entertaining. At no point does it reach the comedic heights of ‘The Hangover’ or ‘Bridesmaids’ - or for that matter even ‘Wedding Crashers’ and ‘Hot Tub Time Machine’; instead, it offers occasional laughs for those looking for some naughty fun, but will most likely disappoint those hoping for anything more. If you happen to be catching it though, make sure you stay for the outtakes - there’s a bit which references Aniston’s time in F.R.I.E.N.D.S. that makes for the perfect sendoff. 

Movie Rating:

(Yet another raunch-com that tries to be vulgar and sweet at the same time, this fitfully amusing road trip movie has some laugh-out-loud parts that make up for an otherwise mediocre whole)

Review by Gabriel Chong

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