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Now showing in Hong Kong

Film review: Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates – Adam Devine, Zac Efron, Anna Kendrick in inane sex comedy

Slick packaging and solid performances let down by poor plot and jokes, and tame bawdiness in this one-gag wonder

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 17 August, 2016, 6:03pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 17 August, 2016, 6:03pm

1/5 stars

A dumbed-down entry in an already dumb genre, this inane sex comedy is neither funny nor outrageous enough to interest any viewer with an IQ higher than zero. The jokes are rarely amusing, and the ending becomes clear after 15 minutes. Slick packaging is the only thing that keeps Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates afloat – actors and crew do a solid job, in spite of the rudimentary material they’re given to work with.

The story, which is loosely based on a true event, is a one-joke affair. Brothers Mike (Adam Devine) and Dave (Zac Efron) have a history of ruining family reunions, so their dad says they can only attend their sister’s wedding in Hawaii if they are accompanied by a couple of respectable dates to keep them in order.

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The duo post an advertisement on Craigslist, which is spotted by two self-defined “bad girls”, Alice (Anna Kendrick) and Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza). The girls trick the boys into taking them to the wedding, and mayhem ensues.

Mike and Dave is vulgar, but only very naive audience members will find it shocking. Films of this ilk aren’t usually afraid to gross the audience out – there’s fun to be had in bawdiness, as Hong Kong’s Vulgaria proved – but director Jake Szymanski always cuts away. It’s a kind of dirty joke with all the dirty bits edited out, and what’s the point of that?

The film might back away from overt sex, but it’s not afraid to be thoroughly misogynistic. Many jokes involve women being badly hurt, by being hit in the face by motorcycles, or by falling off roofs. Bewilderingly, Hawaii is filmed to look like a hastily constructed backlot in New Jersey.

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates opens on August 18

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