In the new film, which veers somewhere between “Hangover 1” and “National Lampoon’s Vacation,” Sudeikis’ character, drug dealer David Clark, puts together a fake family to disguise a drug-run to Mexico as a family vacation.
He recruits stripper Sarah “Rose” O’Reilly (Aniston) to play his wife, while street urchin Casey Mathis (Emma Roberts) and nerdy neighbor Kenny Rossmore (Will Poulter), play the children.
They travel South of the Border in a huge, garaish RV, to score some drugs for Sedeikis’ wealthy client Brad Gurdlinger, played by Ed Helms. En route they encounter another odd-ball, RV-vacationing couple, played by Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn.
Offerman, best known for his role as Ron Swanson in NBC’s “Parks And Recreation,” is simply marvelous. Snarky and smarmy, he is the voice of reason, as an undercover DEA agent no less, but mischievous as hell.
His scene with Sudeikis and Aniston, as they contemplate swinging, is deliciously good. To me, he’s the star of the movie.
Roberts, Julia’s niece, is terrific as is Poulter, best remembered for his role in “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn.”
Despite appearing in the same movie, “Horrible Bosses,” in 2011, Sudeikis and Aniston never really shared any screen time together in that film. Here, they make a nice pairing, though, they’re both playing characters they have essayed many, many times before.
This is Sudeikis’ first big-movie since exiting “Saturday Night Live,” and he’s certainly up to the task, although at times his role seems like an extended SNL comedy sketch. So much so, I kept expecting Bill Hader and Fred Armisen to pop up for the ride.
The trip to Mexico goes without a hitch, although due to mix-up at the rendezvous, they end up being chased by a murderous drug gang. With help from Offerman and Hahn, little by little they finally resolve their dilemma.
Helms, direct from “The Hangover” series, is serviceable in his limited role, though, again, we’ve seen this character before.
The direction by Rawson Marshall Thurber is more than adequate, given the material. He adeptly navigates comic interludes between major plot points that flesh out the characters in hilariously campy ways; whether it’s a spider biting Poulter in a rather delicate spot, or Robert’s character meeting up with a young-ne’er-do-well. They all serve to move the story forward.
Before long, the fake-family begins acting like a real-family, a nice touch for sure.
Footnote: Be sure to stick around for the post-credits scenes; one is pure gold for Aniston fans!