The 2005 comedy adventure Without A Paddle stars Seth Green, Matthew Lillard, Dax Shepard, Ethan Suplee, and Burt Reynolds. It is produced by Donald De Line. The director is Steven Brill.
The story follows three childhood friends who are brought back together after a fourth friend dies unexpectedly. Dan, Tom, and Jerry embark on an adventure after they discover that the deceased friend had pinpointed the location of D.B. Cooper’s $200,000 that had vanished with him back in 1971. The three friends are not well-prepared as the only food they bring is beer. Having spent the first night in a tree while being stalked by a bear, the boys fall down a waterfall and lose their canoe and most of their supplies. While wandering through the woods, they encounter a camp. Thinking the owners will help them, they approach it only to find out that it is a pot farm and the owners are not so friendly. While they are trying to escape, the trio accidentally sets fire to the marijuana crop. The pot farmers vow to hunt them down and kill them. Later on, the three come across two hippie girls who live in their tree call Earth Child. When the farmers catch up to them in the tree, they escape by swiping one of the pot farmer’s dirt bikes. Now, having left most of their clothes at the hippies’ tree, Dan, Tom, and Jerry are once again lost in the woods.
Without A Paddle reminds me of another movie with treasure hunting as its theme, The Goonies. This is a flick from the 1980’s centering around kids searching for a pirate’s treasure while trying to avoid capture by the evil Fetelli family. In Without A Paddle, Dan, Jerry, and Tom are searching for D.B. Cooper’s long lost treasure while trying to elude the pot farmers. On one side, The Goonies was mainly targeted at kids, while on the other side Without A Paddle was intended for adults. Without A Paddle, being made roughly twenty years after The Goonies, may have tried to target those same people who were kids when The Goonies came out.
At first glance, this film seems like another cheesy attempt by actors and writers to make some extra cash while sacrificing entertainment and quality. But, that is not the case at all. Without A Paddle has a great storyline with humorous and entertaining scenes. One particular scene that comes to my mind is the scene where Jerry, Tom, and Dan encounter the bear. When they first spot it, they run away scared. Dan trips and falls. His friends tell him to get in a fetal position but, instead of leaving him alone, the bear mistakes Dan for a cub and starts to lick him. The bear takes Dan to a nearby area and tries to get him to eat a dead squirrel. He is reluctant, but the animal forces him to eat it. Dan slowly begins to bite into the squirrel, saying “mmmm” while having a disgusted look on his face. When the bear isn’t looking, he throws the squirrel into the bush and tries to fool it into thinking that he ate it all.
To wrap, if a treasure hunting adventure with a lot of humor on the side appeals to you, then you will enjoy Without A Paddle.