Super Rash Bros: “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” Is Worth Seeing (Once)

Starring an underrated cast led by Adam DeVine’s equally underrated (or should we say underappreciated?) face.

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is one of those comedies where a lot of people go in with low expectations, only to find themselves feeling a potpourri of sensations ranging from happiness, revulsion, and empathy, to even pain.

The happiness? Probably from the relief of having garnered a fair deal for their money – if not an outright bargain depending on when they go to the theater – as well as the general sense of euphoria one gets during a movie they particularly enjoy.

The revulsion? Probably from having to see something that either walks right up to the proverbial line… or plows right through it. Sacha Baron Cohen, for example, is an infamous instigator of destroying any and all lines in his path.

The empathy? Probably from seeing one of the characters reveal his or her fatal flaw. Maybe they’re stupid, or stinky, or a sasquatch. Whatever the case may be, they enter confession (and this can happen in a public place or in the presence of many people unbeknownst to the individual) and re-emerge to redeem themselves.

The pain? Probably from aching ribs after any particularly funny incident. By the way, isn’t it interesting how a lot of comedies can be funny without causing aggressive laughter? I’ve always thought that was interesting. If you’re particularly sensitive, you may also experience pain from jerking your body around during a really gross scene; this is something you’ve probably done exactly once in every Sacha Baron Cohen movie.

Mike and Dave achieve those four things through a variety of ways, although the main one might be by simply being a better movie than most people think it will be. It’s the opposite of Central Intelligence in that regard, which – despite starring Kevin Hart and The Rock – never really managed to be more than middling.

Here? That’s just not the case. Adam DeVine and Zach Efron star as out-of-control brothers who are requested by their family to significantly tone it down and grow the fuck up. They have a habit of annihilating family events, and their sister’s wedding looms in the near future. Their sis is understandably concerned, so she asks that they bring nice, respectable girls as dates to prove they are committed to bettering themselves.

The plot thickens immediately, as the Stangle brothers decide it would be a genius idea to place online ads asking for nice girls who would like a free trip to Hawaii. The fact that they don’t end up getting murdered is a relief, I think, although the ensuing events after they find Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza) and Alice (Anna Kendrick) are a disaster in their own right.

By the way, this is all loosely based on a true story in the same way that Transformers film franchise is loosely based on Michael Bay’s childhood wet dreams – you’re basically getting the core requirements here. And if you care to know, the actual brothers make a cameo appearance at the wedding event; I’ll leave it up to you to decode who they are (it’s brief, so don’t blink).

If it sounds like I’m assuming you’ll see this movie, don’t be surprised. Not only is it the type of movie people find themselves enjoying at least a little bit, but it’s also the type of movie that will show up a lot on TV in a few months. You’ll have plenty of chances to see it, and I recommend you do it once.

Is this a legendary movie? Of course not. Is it great, or even very good? Honestly it isn’t. But it is this: fun, entertaining, and sometimes embarrassingly endearing. Mike and Dave is the cute little cousin you have who picks their nose and eats boogers in public, but it’s still cute for some reason.

Of course, there’s some raunchiness involved too; I don’t think seeing your sister have a monster orgasm would be funny, but it sure is when we see Adam DeVine go through it!

Speaking of DeVine, that dude has got to be one of the most underrated individuals in Hollywood right now. While I doubt he’ll ever get mainstream critical acclaim (although he could, considering what Adam Sandler and Jim Carrey were able to achieve at their respective peaks), he’s one funny motherfucker.

He might also have the funniest face in Hollywood – a delightful blend of Miss Piggy and the Pillsbury Doughboy. It’s not too difficult to make people laugh when they see you cry, but DeVine has a special knack for it. Any emotion he goes through is hilarious, whether it’s pride at “saving” someone’s life or showing his insecurities in the form of a rambling, incoherent rant.

In other words, he was put on this planet to make people laugh. You can’t necessarily say the same for straightforward looking guys like Marc Maron and Joe Rogan, for example, but take a peak at DeVine and you just can’t help sneaking a chuckle here and there.

Just like taking one look at David Robinson or Michael Jordan makes you think they were made for basketball, you can say the same for DeVine and comedy. Really, the closest comparison I can think of at the moment is probably Steve Rannazzisi who portrays Kevin on The League. Both guys not only look funny, but they just seem to have an inherent talent in facial comedy as well.

I think it’s safe to say Adam DeVine carries a decent portion of the load for this movie, although it’s worth pointing out Aubrey Plaza is secretly incredible here and Zach Efron continues to show he can actually participate in “mature” films. Anna Kendrick does okay – I’m just not a big fan of her in general, but she is tolerable in this instance.

This is a lot of words for a mostly average comedy, but basically this is what I’m trying to say: see Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates just once. You don’t need to see it twice. But I’m pretty sure you’ll have a good time, and that’s what matters when we go to the movie theater, especially in these increasingly tumultuous times in our nation.

Burn Notice: “Central Intelligence” Wastes the Next Big Comedy Duo’s Potential

All you need is a little Hart, a big Johnson… and a better movie.

This is one of the first comedies I’ve seen in a while where I was legitimately disappointed by the time the ending credits were rolling. I’ve always tempered my expectations with comedies and horror films – they’re the most fickle in terms of quality and I think the most subjective as well – but I genuinely expected Central Intelligence to be a solid flick.

Imagine my surprise when I’m artificially trying to meet my expectations by forcing myself to repeatedly laugh at shitty joke after shitty joke. I mean, on paper, Kevin Hart and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson should be an unstoppable duo. While I’ve always been a little concerned with Hart’s turn from standup comedian to actor, I’m willing to concede his films are generally acceptable.

And yes, it is becoming increasingly clear that Kevin Hart is the homeless man’s version of Eddie Murphy; nothing he makes will be as good and as iconic as Beverly Hills Cop, Trading Places, or Norbit, but he’s still a genuinely funny dude. Pairing him with a popular and talented star like The Rock should be a surefire way to make comedy gold.

Besides, if Mark Wahlberg and Will Farrell can make it, surely they can too? The answer is… NOPE! I guess not!

Part of the problem has to be how much was given away in the trailer. Seeing what I assume was a CGI version (or just a fat suit, I suppose) of a tubby The Rock was the highlight; people were laughing their asses off when the trailer would come up in previews. After prolonged exposure however, it’s not as funny. Not even close.

Speaking of trailers, they have a chronic problem nowadays where they give too much of the plot away, whether it’s Drive or Terminator: Genisys. Comedy trailers give away too much of the best jokes and horror trailers give away some of the creepiest moments (or some prime jump scares). Central Intelligence wouldn’t be much better if the trailers had been more ambiguous, but it certainly would have helped.

Look, there’s nothing deep about this. It is just a really underwhelming movie that feels like it has no soul. It’s worse than both Ride Along movies so that should speak volumes. I think you could argue it’s probably the most disappointing film of the summer.

You can try to turn your brain off but it isn’t going to help. It’s not one of those movies. It’s simply not enjoyable and that is so disappointing. I know this is in hindsight, but it is truly a troubling sign when people are funnier and more lively when they’re promoting a movie, than in the actual movie itself.

What makes it even sadder is that Central Intelligence isn’t bad enough to be funny in a “good god, this is terrible” kind of way. It’s just a middling action-comedy with two stars barely trying with an incompetent script. In the world of comedy/horror, middling is instant death. You either have to be good, or absolutely atrocious. You can’t tread water, or you’ll end up getting eaten. Maybe by a shark.

I mean, fuck – at least we knew before going into something like Independence Day: Resurgence that it would suck ass, you know?