We’re the Millers as a concept isn’t very good and could’ve easily been destined for direct-to-video hell but thanks to a director who seems to know how to direct comedy and a cast who share some great chemistry with one another, Millers is a film that won’t go down as one of the greats but is a more than serviceable comedy with some fun moments.
Warner Bros. | R – 110 min. / 119 min. – $35.99 | November 19, 2013
Directed by: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Writer(s): Bob Fisher & Steve Faber (story), Bob Fisher & Steve Faber and Sean Anders & John Morris (screenplay)
Cast: Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Emma Roberts, Will Poulter, Nick Offerman, Kathryn Hahn, Ed Helms, Molly Quinn
Theatrical Release Date: August 7, 2013
Features: Featurettes, Outtakes, Gag Reel, Deleted Scenes, DVD Copy, Digital Copy
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Disc Size: 36.4 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C
THE MOVIE – 3.5/5
We’re the Millers, the pot movie where, oddly enough, not a single character actually lights up…
The film centers on drug dealer, with a quirky heart, David Clark (JASON SUDEIKIS) who is robbed of his stash and cash after trying to help neighbor Kenny (WILL POULTER) stop a gang harassing homeless girl Casey (EMMA ROBERTS). Now David is in over his head needing to pay back the $40k+ to supplier Brad Gurdlinger (ED HELMS) who offers to settle the score AND pay David $100k if he would transport a shipment of marijuana from Mexico back to the United States.
Initially reluctant to go from drug dealer to drug smuggler, David gets the bright idea as a way to do it: get an RV and assemble a fake family as a disguise to get past the border. With Kenny as his son and Casey as his daughter, he offers his other neighbor, and stripper, Rose (JENNIFER ANISTON) to be his fake wife, who absolutely hates him and turns down the offer although she reconsiders after she quits her job and she’s evicted from her apartment.
So with the fake family together, they receive a big ass and fancy RV and make their way to a small Mexican town. At first, and predictably, the four don’t really get along but we get a neat moment of togetherness when they rock out to TLC’s song, “Waterfalls”. And their initial trip goes basically without a hitch except for the fact what was supposed to be a smidge amount of pot turned into an RV stuffed with pounds of it in every hidden crevice available.
Now the group, of course named the Millers, must get back across the border and while in line meet the overly delightful and buttoned-up Fitzgerald’s: father Don (NICK OFFERMAN), mother Edie (KATHRYN HAHN) and daughter Melissa (MOLLY QUINN) and wouldn’t you know it, the Millers discover that Don is in fact an agent for the DEA! Oh, happenstance, you amuse me!
Hilarity and more troubles follow for the Millers after David discovers that the pot he received to smuggle was actually stolen and now he has a drug lord (TOMER SISLER) and his one-eyed henchman… well… One-Eye (MATTHEW WILLIG), are on their tail. Oh, and as it would happen the Fitzgerald’s are not as buttoned-up as presented.
The cast is one of the biggest reasons We’re the Millers succeeds. Jason Sudeikis is an actor I’ve never particularly liked with supporting roles in a variety of comedies over the years like What Happens in Vegas, Going the Distance and The Campaign, but taking the lead, he wasn’t bad especially playing a guy who, albeit merely a pot dealer, isn’t quite scrupulous. For her part, Jennifer Aniston continues to show she can still be funny in a limited role and is in hell good shape culminating with a frivolous strip scene which has been shown in every theatrical and television spot. And Will Poulter and Emma Roberts are fun to watch in roles which mesh nicely with Sudeikis and Aniston in the most insane and dysfunctional family since the Griswolds.
Rawson Marshall Thurber might not be a household, or Internet, name like Judd Apatow and rightfully so with a limited résumé, but between We’re the Millers and his other $100 million hit, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, he does seem to have a knack for comedy and utilizing the most out of his cast.
On the surface, Millers is a simple plot and it is pretty predictable of where the story was headed from the hate-love relationship between David and Rose, the fight towards the latter half before ultimately finding friendship at the end. It’s formulaic for sure, but the jokes mostly land and the film on the whole is enjoyable.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 3.25/5
This release comes with a lenticular slip cover. Inside are the standard DVD Copy and a download code for the UltraViolet Digital Copy.
Extended Cut (1:58:43; HD) – Approximately 8:50 longer than the theatrical version, the disc also includes an extended cut which, from what I could tell, just some longer takes. Both versions are rated “R” and aren’t significantly different.
Millers Unleashed: Outtakes Overload (7:38; HD) is a featurette about how the actors go through and use alternate takes.
Stories from the Road (TRT 17:23) are a collection 7 short featurettes: Extreme Aniston (2:20; HD) which is about star Jennifer Aniston and what she brings to the project; The Miller Makeovers (3:44; HD) on changing the actors into their Miller personas; Road Trippin’ with the Millers (2:48; HD) is about shooting on an RV set; Don’t Suck Venom (2:18; HD) on the most disgusting scene in the film (i.e. Kenny’s balls); Getting Out of a Sticky Situation (2:42; HD) covers Luis Guzman’s short scene; I Am Pablo Chacon (1:38; HD) introduces us to the mysterious Pablo Chacon; and Rollin’ in the RV (1:53; HD) is solely about the pimped out RV.
Livin’ It Up with Brad (3:46; HD) is a featurette on Ed Helms’ douche bag character, Brad Gurdlinger.
When Paranoia Sets In (3:16; HD) – This is a silly mock-featurette on how the cast and crew were paranoid with what was really in the RV.
Deleted Scenes (16:18; HD) offers few scenes, mostly with the Mexican cop bribe scene, which were removed or trimmed probably due to pacing and such.
Lastly are a set of Gags & More Outtakes (3:01; HD).
VIDEO – 4.5/5
We’re the Millers roll into town with presented in its original 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio and a clear 1080p (MPEG-4 AVC codec) high-definition transfer. Colors are bright and vibrant as one would expect from a straight-up comedy and detail levels are nicely sharp. The picture appears to be clean and free of artifacts and/or pixilation.
AUDIO – 4.0/5
The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track offered isn’t anything amazing. The dialogue levels are nice and clear coming from the center channel and ambient noises come through the front and rear speakers, but otherwise it’s an unremarkable lossless track where even the choice music and score seems a bit weak and the depth isn’t really there. Still, it is a comedy and save for a couple “action” scenes, there’s nothing to judge.
OVERALL – 3.75/5
Overall, We’re the Millers as a concept isn’t very good and could’ve easily been destined for direct-to-video hell but thanks to a director who seems to know how to direct comedy and a cast who share some great chemistry with one another, Millers is a film that won’t go down as one of the greats but is a more than serviceable comedy with some fun moments. The Blu-ray released by Warner Bros. has good video/audio transfers and a fair selection of bonus material.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.