If I can be completely honest for a second, I’ll see anything Jason Sudeikis participates in. Seriously. I personally think he’s one of the funniest actors in the game right now, and while every movie he’s in may not be a huge success (Movie 43), he’s an actor who can consistently and effortlessly make you laugh through many different types of comedic roles. We’re The Millers not only pairs him with a wonderful little cast featuring the still smoking Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts, Will Poulter, Nick Offerman, Kathryn Hahn and Ed Helms, but it lets Jason play two very different characters. The question was simple though – could this mainstream comedy be a fun identity-swapping romp, or would the story delve into mindless silliness?
We’re The Millers is funny. It succeeds at being a movie that will generate laughter amongst its viewers, and for that a certain amount of respect has to be paid to director Rawson Marshall Thurber (no, I didn’t just make that name up). It’s your typical mainstream comedic effort that puts characters in an implausible scenario for some truly weird, fantastical moments of Hollywood magic that ignore reality. I don’t mean that in a sarcastic way either, because I genuinely think we need movies like this to break us from the norm every once and a while. A rag-tag team of delinquents (and one loner) who join forces and pretend to be a family so they can smuggle massive amounts of marijuana across the Southern border? For what’s promised, we’re given the expected amount of chuckles and strangely sentimental moments that inevitably grow our characters along the way.
On the flip side, exactly what we expect is what we get. I was laughing, but I never found any seriously gut-busting moments along the way. Sudeikis gets his time to shine with longer monologues and fantastic jokes that exemplify his quick wit, but there wasn’t anything dangerously new about his character Dave. Aniston herself is more like a character for others to interact with, as I felt like she didn’t have many shining moments on her own (minus an absolutely titillating striptease), while Roberts and Poulter play snotty and goodie-goodie with typically stereotypical ease. Offerman and Hahn were a wonderfully under-appreciated dream team of comedians, as Offerman is a bit of a supporting character God in my eyes, but even their characters fell victim to the ho-hum normalcy of We’re The Millers. All these people have impressed me time and time again, yet these performances barely made a lasting impact.
We’re The Millers is a tame comedy watch that’s perfect as a time waster, but if you’re feeling dangerous and are looking for a home-run gamble, you’ll be better suited elsewhere. When you can describe a film as “funny enough,” there’s definitely a bit of a negative connotation that comes along with such a statement. Like I said, it will definitely make you laugh, but will it have you on the floor rolling around in a puddle of your own creation? Maybe for some, but personally, I found the comedy a bit calculated and forced. Hey, at least I got my Sudeikis fix!
Touching on the Blu-Ray aspects, the film does look good overall. If you’ve got the proper equipment and a comfy home theater setup, We’re The Millers will make good use of the 1080p High Definition picture and the DTS-HD Master Audio: English 5.1. Male (hell, and female) viewers will definitely appreciate the crisp picture when Jennifer displays her performance abilities with a provocative dance number that includes slow-motion water showers, flying sparks, and a serious lack of clothing. Kudos to Jen for keeping her body as tight as it is – and Blu-Ray quality is the perfect platform to show it off.
As for the special features, here’s what we’ve got:
- We’re The Millers Extended Cut
- Millers Unleashed: Outtakes Overload
- Behind The Scenes: Stories From The Road
- Behind The Scenes: Livin’ It Up With Brad
- Behind The Scenes: When Paranoia Sets In
- Gag Reel & Deleted Scenes
- The Miller Makeovers
The outtakes and gags are what got me the most here, because when you have so many improvisational talents in one cast, you better believe there’s just a plethora of unused footage. A lot of the jokes are actually attempted numerous ways, with the actors ad-libbing their own zingers and one-liners, so on the gag-reel you get to see Jason rolling through the same insult five different ways, which is a neat little look into the film’s production. The extended cut also adds about eight minutes of footage on its own, so since I didn’t see the film theatrically, I can’t really tell what exactly was added and whether it was necessary, but yay for eight more minutes! Aside from that, the rest of the features are your typical behind the scenes efforts where the cast and crew discuss characters, like why Ed Helms’ character Brad is such an Orca obsessed dickbag, but they’re nothing more than one-time watches.
I feel like I’ve been talking in circles to some degree, but We’re The Millers is a safe and sound comedy that doesn’t try to really break the mold and succeeds, in a way, by doing so. It’s mainstream comedy with a bunch of funny, familiar faces, delivering just enough laughs to squeak by on the passable scale. Sudeikis, Aniston, Helms – I think you already know what you’re in for, and if that’s perfectly fine with you, then by all means, We’re The Millers is a winner.
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We're The Millers doesn't really score any big-time laughs, but it does create consistently funny moments that are entertaining enough to hold a viewer's interest. It's mundane, but still mildly enjoyable.