How high can one set their expectations when all the trailers for a movie are about a domesticated pig doing backflips? I suppose you can set them high if the movie was Charlotte’s Web, but surely not about a movie like College Road Trip which is about a girl and her father bonding as they travel across the country to attend university open tours. So to answer my own question – I didn’t have high hopes for Martin Lawrence’s latest foray due to that and because I didn’t particularly like his last outing: Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins.
After about 15 minutes, it became painfully evident that the best parts of the movie were going to be those in which the “Houdini” pig – which plays chess, spies on James Porter (Lawrence) and pisses in the toilet – was featured. That’s right, the pig, which I couldn’t figure out why the fuck it was even in the movie, has a more captivating presence than the stars – Lawrence as the overprotective father and Raven-Symoné as his disenchanted and semi-rebellious daughter Melanie. It was also apparent, that very little effort went into putting this movie together because it literally appears to be a hodgepodge of stupidly setup gags linked poorly together with the asinine road trip.
To drive home the point of how dumb College Road Trip is, allow me to point it out a few scenes that absolutely drove me crazy. In one instance while driving his police car (are you allowed to use them for personal use?), Porter veers off course through a forest thanks to a faulty GPS. After getting a flat tire and trying to jack it up the truck flips over into a ravine. There is no purpose to the scene other than to have Lawrence jump up and down and act like an imbecile. In another, Porter follows his daughter to a sorority house she is sleeping over at. It’s bad enough that he feels he has to spy on her – let’s not forget that he is supposedly a cop – so the fact that he breaks in (thanks to a conveniently placed ladder) and hides under a bed only to be caught makes it all the more pathetic. I’m not going to bother to mention the skydiving or the bus trip or the hotel stay or the . . . I think you get the idea now. Each scene “one ups” the preceding one in the scientific “WTF” factor.
What I did find amazing, however, was how the teenagers in the crowd simply laughed their asses off at all these scenes – how poorly they were set up or delivered didn’t phase them one iota. This tells me either I’ve lost touch with the adolescent in me or that kids these days have become mindless zombies who don’t have a clue about what is or isn’t good entertainment. Yes, both hypotheses are hard to imagine, but since nearly everyone I know says I act like a big, retarded child, I tend to think the former isn’t the problem. That means the future of our fine country may be in a lot of trouble.
Anyways, with the psychology lesson now over, I’ll conclude the review by saying that while College Road Trip is mind-numbingly idiotic it could have actually been worse. Donny Osmond, who plays the sickenly chipper Doug Greenhut and Molly Ephraim who plays his daughter Wendy, could have had much larger parts. Thankfully, director Roger Kumble left a great deal of their scenes on the cutting room floor. If they had been showcased more, this would have caused me to burn down the cineplex in its entirety. My thanks to Mr. Kumble for his kindness.