Looking for a wild ride? Skip Adventureland

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart in Adventureland

Gazette File Photo

MORE FUN THAN CANADA’S WONDERLAND ... NOT. Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart star in Adventureland. The comedy’s predictable plot fails to take off, leaving audiences wanting a more thrilling movie experience.

Directed by: Greg Mottola
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Ryan Reynolds

3 stars

Being stuck with a mind-numbing summer job really sucks. What’s worse is working at a fraudulent, small-town amusement park full of workers who have no choice but to work there because their IQs leave something to be desired.

Adventureland is about brainy recent college grad James Brennan (Eisenberg), who plans to go to Columbia in the fall, but, due to his father’s demotion, has no choice but to become one of the games’ booth carnies at a pitiful amusement park. This rollercoaster-ride of a story comically presents the twists and turns of James’ life for the amusement of the audience.

Although the film was filled with humour and some memorable quotes, it was ultimately disappointing. Expectations for seeing something other than a typical teen movie were left unmet by what was little more than another monotonous comedy.

James’ romance with Em (Stewart) is exciting but predictable. Em is the troubled daughter of a wealthy father who rebels constantly. James’ immaturity and Em’s wild habits create an interesting setup where two complete opposites eventually fall for each other.

Em is reminiscent of Stewart’s character in In the Land of Women. Both characters are moody teenage girls who dress in oversized, grungy clothing. Stewart’s dark and mysterious persona allows her to maintain this recurring character.

Another letdown in Adventureland was Ryan Reynold’s character Mike Connell. He is a maintenance worker at the amusement park who is married, yet constantly cheats on his wife in his mother’s basement. His small role was redundant; he didn’t bring any of his usual witty humour or hilarity to the film.

Like any teen flick, there was the stereotypical custom of smoking drugs. In the case of Adventureland, there is an excessive amount of smoking pot. The only benefit of this is the exposure of a somewhat corrupt side to James’ personality.

Funny at times, Adventureland is surely capable of taking anyone on a ride " but not the fast-paced type where you are screaming with your hands waving feverishly in the air. Instead, it is a slow, boring one with a couple spins and loops.

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