10 August 2016 | James_De_Bello
They think they have just made them all better parties, but to their parents and to admittedly, reality, brothers Mike (Zac Efron) and Dave (Adam Devine) have only ruined all of the family events they've participated in for their wild party style. So when its Jaine's (Sugar Lyn Beard) turn to get married the family is taking no risks: Mike and Dave are to bring wedding dates to the wedding in order to be kept at bay. That's when Alice (Anna Kendrick) and Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza) put on the façade of being nice and ordinary girls to score a free weekend in Hawaii after discovering an advert from the two brothers. Yet when the chaotic spirits of both pairs start to explode, an apparently normal weekend turns into a ludicrous series of events.
"Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates" has good and charismatic leads, with natural comedic timing and an appropriately funny cast built around them with a script that has some effortlessly funny gags working. Yet, a fair amount of laughs are not enough to surmount the film's lack of heart, which often transpires into both annoying and unmotivated sequences and humor which is close to being mean spirited.
What severely lacks from the film is a fresh and interesting comedic voice. As much as you feel the director's passion, I couldn't help but feel very cold about the style and visual choices the film makes. It is directed with almost no life, it doesn't feel alive and breathing, the shot choice is for the majority so basic it made my head ache at some point. There aren't any passages in the film where you feel inspired filmmaking and character or story being given a chance to flow. The editing is very mechanical and brings the film into feeling more like a series of gags, which might be occasionally good, but lack any kind of drive given the very predictable and clichéd script.
Still, there's no denying the talent almost everybody has for comedy and even when handed what for most is very average material they manage to elevate it and thanks to what is sure to be a lot of improvisation they make the scenes that work, work really well and transcend what are otherwise deeply problematic character development elements. Efron's career has lately been all about these R-rated comedies and I have to admit I am one who really enjoys his effort in these: he is a great screen presence and always brings a palpable irony to the scenes. Adam Devine at this point is an enigma for me, I have no idea where he'll go in the future, that is because he has some really borderline annoying stuff here, but I don't know if it's thanks to him or the gag in itself I was never brought to a breaking point. I enjoyed probably all of his beats and he had many different ones to bring alive, succeeding in all of that variety.
What is frustrating about the movie is how standard it feels and how much everything around it is striving to be better, but what we end up is this basic studio comedy that goes through every single beat we except and leaves the audience with little passion at all. The premise is right, the talent behind cast well, the script is trying to go to fresh places occasionally, but there is an incredible aura of average all around that simply flattens the film to the point of annoyance. Not to mention the ridiculous quantity of screeching women all over the place that had me almost covering my ears.
"Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates" is a film that delivers some good and at times great laughs thus succeeding a laugh prompter, yet a comedy film it lacks any depth of character or story to make it live any further than its closing credits unfortunately.