Martin Lawrence is a funny guy. He’s been in plenty of thoroughly enjoyable comedies over the years to prove it. The question is then why would he end up in junk like College Road Trip? This is the bottom of the comedy barrel, a movie trying to so hard to be funny, it ends up annoying.
Lawrence stars as an overprotective father struggling to keep his “obviously not a teenager” daughter Raven-Symone from going to Georgetown. In doing so, he gets to act like an idiot, eliciting groans from the audience until unsurprisingly, he realizes the error of his ways and we go on to live happily ever after.
At least, those that are smart enough to avoid this.
Raven is simply awful here, overacting every line, exaggerating each facial expression, and failing to make any part of her character believable. This is sitcom-level comedy meant for an afternoon special on the Disney Channel, and even then it’s pretty terrible. Every gag is predictable, and there’s no originality or energy in this script whatsoever.
Seeing Donny Osmond here is a shocker, mostly because he has no reason to be. His character is flat-out irritating, and while it’s supposed to be funny, it’s a complete turn off. The cliché was played out in his first on-screen appearance. Keeping him on screen is punishment from whatever higher power you believe in for something you did in a past life.
You know you’re in trouble when the best character interaction is between the 10-year-old and a pig. That’s what College Road Trip has to offer. In other words, it has nothing.
If you do choose to suffer through this miserable attempt at comedy, do it on Blu-ray. This is a fine-looking transfer, bursting with color and excellent contrast. Black levels are consistent and strong. It’s sharp and superbly detailed throughout. It’s hard to find any fault in this HD presentation.
Disney’s usual uncompressed audio mix delivers some surprising audio moments. Crowd scenes are rich in their atmosphere. The soundtrack is loaded with bass, and the golf cart chase (don’t ask) at the end actually does a superb job of capturing the action in all channels. Dialogue sequences offer nothing to discuss, but when this track performs when it needs to.
Two commentaries are included, though sadly, neither can explain how this thing went awry. One is from Raven and director Roger Kumble, while the second comes from the writers. Why this actually needed two commentaries to describe all the intricate details remains an unsolved mystery.
Raven’s Video Diary is a mixture of promotional stuff and actual set footage shot by Raven. It aims for the younger set, and runs about 10 minutes. Sixteen minutes of deleted and extended scenes offer a commentary from Kumble, though why you’d want more of this is as big a mystery as the commentaries. A brief, flat outtakes reel and a music video finish off the extras.
Arnetia Walker who plays Martin Lawrence’s mother in the film, is only nine years older than he is. That’s like trying to pass Raven off as a college freshman at 23-years-old. Who would attempt that? Oh wait, they did.