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Blu-ray Review: Road Trip (2000)

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As the end of the 20th Century came to pass, a majority of spoiled Generation Y-ers were anxious to rebel against just about everything under the sun simply because the faux punk music and Hot Topic clothing that was mass-marketed towards them had repeatedly told them to. With this seemingly worthless insurrection at bay, filmmakers began to embrace any kind of movie genre they could in order to get the pandered youth packed into theaters. Thus, the manufacturing of raunchy, offensive comedies began to emerge — a subgenre that had been popular with high-school and college-aged boys and girls of the previous generation in the ’80s.

But these newer crude comedies weren’t quite as outrageous as films like The Hollywood Knights or Animal House. Nor were they as good most of the time, either — which is saying something when you watch an ’80s shitfest like King Frat. So, movies like There’s Something About Mary and American Pie came and went. As 2000 rolled around on the calendar, we found ourselves being subjected to the despicable onscreen antics of the guys and gals of Road Trip — an early venture from Todd Phillips, the man who would later bring us movies like The Hangover series.

Here, Phillips borrows a major story element from 1998’s Overnight Delivery — a film about a college guy who mails a strongly-worded letter to his long-distance girlfriend when he suspects she has been cheating on him, but is then proven wrong, to wit he goes on a hectic road trip to apprehend the shipment — and conveys to us the story of an entirely different college guy who accidentally mails a sex tape he made to his long-distance girlfriend and goes on a road trip to get to the shipment before she does. As you can see, the stories are completely dissimilar. Actually, they are: one is lighthearted rom-com fare, the other is “let’s see if we can’t make ‘em piss their pants by throwing one offensive act after another” comedy.

Breckin Meyer takes the lead here as the poor sod who fears his girlfriend (Rachel Blanchard) will be upset by seeing him have sex with another girl. The other girl in question is played by Amy Smart, who is quite taken by Mr. Meyer, and tries to chase after him once he goes on his journey — only to head in the wrong direction. Meanwhile, Breckin is paired with an unlikely trio of college boys: douchebag Seann William Scott, stoner Paolo Costanzia (in one of two big screen movie roles that people noticed him in), and nerdy DJ Qualls, the latter of whom is necessary to the equation since he has a credit card and a car — though neither last too terribly long.

Also starring in this Ivan Reitman-produced comedy is Canada’s own gross-out comedian, Tom Green (who also narrates), Anthony Rapp, and Fred Ward. Andy Dick (oh, dear God, no), Ethan Suplee, Horatio Sanz, Rhoda Griffs, and late plus-sized model Mia Amber Davis also turn in small-but-memorable roles.

Though Road Trip was a hit in both cinemas and video rental stores when first released, it didn’t enjoy the same success as its counterpart, the American Pie franchise. Boasting only one barely-related spin-off (Road Trip: Beer Pong — a title that should tell you how truly awful that one is) and a completely unrelated one (EuroTrip, which was produced by some of the same people), Road Trip has received a low-key Blu-ray release from Paramount Pictures that has been issued only as a Best Buy Exclusive.

The overall video/audio quality here is quite nice for a catalogue issue, boasting a better-than-expected MPEG-4/AVC 1080p transfer and a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack. Additional audio tracks included on this release include French, Spanish, and Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1 mixes, with optional subtitles available in all four aforementioned languages. In terms of special features for this Region Free Blu-ray, viewers have the option of viewing either the original theatrical cut of the film or the extended unrated version (which is about thirty-seconds longer than the rated cut), along with all of the same extras that were included on the old SD-DVD.

The Bottom Line: twelve years on, Road Trip‘s humor seems somewhat tame by what we’re used to seeing today (something we could probably attribute to another Gen-Y byproduct: the Jackass franchise). That said, it’s still a fun film to view once in a blue moon. I can’t say I’m overly-impressed by it being released strictly as a Best Buy Exclusive (since I’m not a huge fan of the overpriced retail outlet), but fans of the movie probably won’t have any difficulty finding one either in-store or online.

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About Luigi Bastardo

Luigi Bastardo is the disgruntled alter-ego of a thirtysomething lad from Northern California who has watched so many weird movies since the tender age of 3 that a conventional life is out of the question. He currently lives in Chico, CA with four cats named Groucho, Harpo, Chico, and Margaret. Seriously.