HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: Search Party
HTS Overall Score:60
The road trip style genre of comedy is pretty well worn and foolproof. Usually they’re stupid as all get out, but it’s a tried and true comedy sub-genre. “Road Trip”, “The Hangover”, etc, they all follow the same basic formula of a bunch of buddies on some sort of trip and hijinks happen along the way (usually involving police at some point). HOWEVER. As much fun as they are, sometimes you run across one that has NO redeeming value whatsoever. Some movies just aren’t that funny, some are plane stupid, and others are just offensive. “Search Party” manages to be all three at once, as I don’t think I laughed once, my brain melted from the stupidity, and I think I want the last 93 minutes of my life back. If I had a time travel device, I would go back in time and slap my younger self for even CONSIDERING watching this film, but because it’s kind of part of my job when reviewing, I will just settle for warning all of you the terrors that are ahead.
Evan (Adam Pally), Jason (T.J. Miller) and Nardo (Thomas Middleditch) are all getting together for one final bash as Nardo is marrying the love of his life, Tracy (Shannon Woodward) in a few days. One thing leads to another, weed is smoked, and in that fog of pleasure Nardo expresses some nervousness at getting married (as one usually does before embarking on a life changing event). This prompts Jason and Evan to TOTALLY crash the wedding, and ending up driving a wedge between the bride and groom. After standing Tracy up at the wedding Nardo realizes the EPIC mistake he’s done by following his friends leads and it’s off to Mexico to try and win back his ex’s heart (she’s down in Mexico getting over Nardo by having fun at would SHOULD have been their honeymoon). The only problem is that he didn’t tell anyone else that he was leaving and is now stranded in Mexico after getting carjacked.
Setting aside their petty differences, Jason and Evan head on down south of the border to pick up their friend. The only thing is that Evan has a job presentation the next day, Jason doesn’t have a passport and neither of them know the EXACT location of Nardo. So that logically means that they should just wing it, right? Along the way they almost get relived of a kidney thanks to the Amazing Hugo (Jason Mantzoukas), Nardo gets covered in Cocaine. The trio are chased by a gold 50 caliber Desert Eagle brandishing drug dealer AND get arrested by the police, all in the hopes of winning back Tracy.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=73985[/img]I very rarely rate a movie less than 1.5 stars. In fact I can only think of ONE title that I’ve rated that low. It’s just a fact that no matter how poorly a movie meshes with me there is always SOMETHING to keep it above a single star rating. Production values, acting levels, story (even if I hate said story). However I simply can’t find the good will within me to rate “Search Party” any higher than 1 star. In fact I’m actually considering having a lobotomy just so that I can erase the memory of this one. There’s NOTHING redeeming about the film. The jokes are stale (really? We have jokes, taking too much drugs jokes, and the all-around horrible “oh my goodness I don’t understand the language!” jokes), the comradery is just plain no there, and T.J. Miller is one of those actors that is good in small doses. Unfortunately a full movie with him in it can be REALLY painful.
I like dumb comedies. I really do. I laughed myself silly at “The Hangerover”, and “Road Trip” is a guilty pleasure for me, but “Search Party” just kept swinging and missing at EVERY turn. There’s only so many times that you can see a naked man licking the cocaine off of his own body before you just have to say “enough is enough”. I honestly think I cracked a smile TWICE during the whole movie, even with Jason Mantzoukas shooting flaming crossbow bolts at the Jason and Evan. Which is another thing. I think at this point that Jason Mantzoukas has been over saturated in the comedy world. He’s fantastic as the overly crude and lewd character Raffie from “The League”, but it seems that his success has catapulted him into every single dirty comedy out there, and it’s become a little wearing. He plays the same character over and over again, so once you’ve seen one movie with him in it, you’ve seen them all.
Rated R for language throughout, drug use, graphic nudity, and sexual content
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=73993[/img]Shot using the Arri Alexa digital camera system, “Search Party” retains that standard digital glossy look that befits a comedy of this type. Colors are warm and natural, and don’t seem to be too heavily color graded at all. Fine detail is excellent throughout, whether that be in the Indian Casino with all of the brightly lit neon signs, or the dusty coke covered Nardo down in Mexico amidst the blistering sun. Black levels tend to be good, but sometimes look a bit washed out in darker sequences. Overall it’s a fairly standard looking modern comedy release, and while it doesn’t stand out as being an AMAZING transfer, the picture quality is pleasing to the eye and lacks any major digital artifacting to dampen the quality.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=74001[/img]The 5.1 experience is just as pleasing, with a solid front soundstage and good surround usage when necessary. Dialog is strong and clean, without any distortions or balance issues as the crazed trio of friends try to make it through Mexico. The movie is fairly mild, and definitely front heavy, for a majority of the runtime, but there’s plenty of hijinks along the way to kick it up into high gear. Running from a drug dealer as he puts bullet holes in your car, Mariachi music in a truck that has hydraulics, and of course flaming arrows. LFE is mild, but still adds some punch here and there with a few explosions and the score. It’s a solid track and does what it’s asked to with out question.
I think by this time you have all figured out that I’m not exactly a fan of “Search Party”. A comedy that doesn’t have any comedy, and is filled with some of the most unlikeable characters I’ve ever seen just doesn’t jive with me (well, besides Alison Brie, and that’s just because she’s the most adorable woman to grace the planet). My brain is JUST starting to recover from the stupidity and it’s been over 24 hours since the film ended. Audio and video are solid enough for a comedy release, but the extras are nil. However, methinks that really isn’t a big deal as I don’t think that anyone was clamoring for information about how this train wreck was put together. All I can do is just warn you away as quickly as possible. Walk, nay, RUN the opposite direction as fast as possible unless you have someone in your family that you REALLY have a grudge against. Then I could POSSIBLY see you showing this movie to them as a form of inhumane torture.
Starring: T.J. Miller, Adam Pally, Thomas Middleditch
Directed by: Scot Armstrong
Written by: Mike Gagerman, Andrew Waller
Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1, Spanish, French DTS 5.1
Runtime: 93 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: July 5th, 2016
Buy Search Party On Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: Just turn and walk away very slowly, maybe it won't notice
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