Though the title of summer comedy Without a Paddle implies a camping-related snafu, it's got a lot more to worry about than getting lost in the woods. By failing to satisfy any of its target audiences, it's liable to get lost in multiplexes during the August summer movie doldrums.

Beginning with some charming home movie footage, the movie quickly establishes the bond between four childhood friends from Philadelphia: Dan, Jerry, Tom, and Billy—how all American! After high school, they go their separate ways, with great expectations for high achiever Billy. Cut to ten years later. Dan (Seth Green, Austin Powers) is a hypochondriac doctor still looking for love. Jerry (Matthew Lillard, Scooby Doo) has some kind of marketing position and a girlfriend, but he'd rather be surfing and he forgets their anniversary. Tom (Dax Shepard, MTV's "Punk'd") hasn't found his occupational niche, too busy fooling around with women and schemes.

Well, at least they've GOT their paddles here!

Well, at least they've GOT their paddles here!

Then the sad news hits: Billy has died in an accident. The remaining three friends get together for the funeral and reminisce over their youth in the old tree house, where they discover that Billy was planning to get the gang together for a treasure hunt. Seems that he had pinpointed the location of D.B. Cooper in the Cascade Mountains of Lane County, Oregon. (According to historical legend, Cooper was a famed thief and airline hijacker who parachuted out of a plane over the Pacific Northwest with $200,000 in 1971, never to be heard from again.)

The three friends, now entering their thirties, recognize this is their last chance to live out their childhood adventures and finish Billy's quest. So it's off to Oregon and a canoe trip through the Columbia River valley. Three city slickers searching for ...

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Without a Paddle
Our Rating
1½ Stars - Weak
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Mpaa Rating
PG-13 (for drug content, sexual material, language, crude humor and some violence)
Directed By
Steven Brill
Run Time
1 hour 35 minutes
Cast
Matthew Price, Andrew Hampton, Jarred Rumbold, Carl Snell
Theatre Release
August 20, 2004 by 20th Century Fox
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