Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates: Film Review
Cast: Zac Efron, Adam Devine, Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza
Director: Jake Szymanski
Loosely based on the antics of real-life brothers Dave and Mike Stangle, who placed an online ad in Craigslist, this raunchy comedy knows exactly what it wants to do - and manages to achieve it without any level of class or originality.
Wedding Crashers for the next generation it may aspire to be - but be assured, it ain't.
Efron (straight-laced) and Devine (hyperactive, bordering on severely irritating) are Dave and Mike respectively, who have a habit of boorish behaviour and going too far damaging family celebrations. With their younger sister's marriage on the horizon, Mike and Dave are ordered to get respectable dates to the big day, to ensure everything goes to plan.
So placing an online ad, the duo meets plenty of prospective plus ones. But striking out, they come across Alice and Tatiana (Kendrick playing ditzy and Plaza playing trademark deadpan with an edge of sassiness) who appear on the surface to be nice safe girls.
However, it turns out the girls are even worse than the boys....will the big day go ahead?
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates is the kind of raunchy, crass, brain-dead frat boy party antics flick that is the very definition of leaving your brain at the door and ensuring you have a skinful before you sit down to watch it.
It also comes with the caveat that you have to be puerile in your acceptance and outlook as well to fully appreciate and get on board with the humour.
While Efron and Kendrick downplay their respective roles after initially ratcheting up the goofy unlikeable factor early on, Devine threatens to derail the whole thing with an OTT turn that borders on severely irritating thanks to gurning, screeching and generally being as dumb as is humanly possible.
It's great to see Kendrick playing off type, and Plaza clearly has a deadpan blast, but none of these are unforgettable characters and while the bro-ing of all of them (is the female equivalent a bra-mance?) is a nice touch in terms of ladies can do it too, the whole thing feels dumber than a bag of spanners.
There's a kernel of a nice story waiting in the wings (one laments late on in the piece as the inevitable schmaltz sets in that they thought they were destined for great things but have never achieved anything) but it's sacrificed in favour of some relatively forgettable set pieces that linger as long as the lights are down in the cinema, before disappearing in the haze of reality.
Vulgarity is the order of the day and Szymanski never sets his sights above that, but what would you expect from the writers of the Bad Neighbours series? However, there are arguments that it doesn't go far enough.
There's an over-riding sense of repetition to get the point across, and while Kumail Nanjiani of Silicon Valley delivers some of the best moments of the film in a brief cameo, the obligatory out-takes show more fun was being had than what was being recorded.
All in all, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates does exactly what you'd expect.
But if you're looking for something that will be added to the pantheon of R-rated films like Bridesmaids and The Hangover for the millennials, this is totally forgettable, utterly disposable and ultimately a dimwit escapade that goes nowhere fast but will sadly satiate a portion of the box office audience.
(Oh, and is it now obligatory in any Zac Efron film that he needs to remove his shirt?)