Each Monday, film fan and champion of the downtrodden Jordan Sims picks out an overlooked gem or unfairly maligned masterpiece – and gives them the spotlight they so dearly deserve.
This week, it’s the turn of critically-despised men-in-the-wild comedy Without A Paddle. Here are five reasons why it’s an underrated classic.
1. It’s got a surprisingly complex plot-line
Despite being a fairly low budget comedy, Without a Paddle combines American folk-lore with heart warming camaraderie to create an emotional and hilarious journey through the mountains. Plus, R. Kelly’s ‘Bump ‘N’ Grind’ makes an appearance – which is always good.
2. The excellent advice on bear attacks
A memorable scene for any viewers sees the main mix-matched trio chased by a bear, and it’s a fantastic template to use if any of you should indeed be confronted by a giant grizzly. As we can see, Dan Mott (Seth Green) uses the “fetal position” technique to completely evade harm. Brilliant.
3. The Three leads
Dax Shepard, Seth Green and Matthew Lillard all put in cracking comedy performances throughout the picture, and genuinely create a feeling of brotherly love between them.
4. Its environmental message
Based in the deep wilds of the American countryside, there was always going to be room to make a hard-hitting message about the environment. Inclusion of hippy type characters Flower and Butterfly (who live in a giant tree and talk about spirits and trees’ emotional attachment to the earth) make for a light-hearted lesson. It’s no inconvenient truth – but the point is there.
5. Actor dedication
In the same year as the film was released – 2004 – Green and Lillard also filmed Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed. And I think we can all agree that the second instalment of the Scooby-Doo live action franchise qualifies as an underrated classic too. That goes without saying, whether we want to admit it or not. Maybe those guys should have had more recognition for truly thought-provoking performances as Shaggy and Patrick. Just cracking stuff lads.
More underrated classics:
- Grave of the Fireflies
- The Adventures of Tintin
- The Invention Of Lying
- The Room
- The Money Pit
- Starship Troopers
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