Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates. Nope, Mike and Dave need some new writers. This desperately tired slacker/sex comedy takes four talented performers (Zac Efron, Anna Kendrick, Adam DeVine, Aubrey Plaza) and gives them absolutely nothing to work with, seemingly dismissing the need for some decent jokes and instead just trying to wing it. The cast are game and occasionally they elevate the material, but natural charisma and solid comic timing become more or less redundant when you’re forced to riff around scraps.
At its worst Jake Szymanski‘s film is soul-crushingly unfunny, Efron and DeVine playing bonehead brothers whose lazy, dumb-and-dumber shtick includes confusing the word ultimatum for “an old tomato.” It’s not just hilarious wordplay they do, though. For no real reason Efron’s Dave also does a Liam Neeson impression that will have you wishing, hoping and praying for the godfather of geriaction to make an appearance. Preferably he’d rappel through the window, grumble something about gimmick infringement and then pistol-whip everyone in sight.
Sadly that doesn’t happen. Instead our ‘loveable’ screw-ups are ordered to curb their hard-partying ways and find respectable dates to bring to their little sister’s destination wedding. Naturally they stick an ad on Craigslist. After ploughing through a disastrous list of potential suitors (prostitutes, office managers in drag) they eventually settle on Alice (Kendrick) and Tatiana (Plaza), a pair of obnoxious layabouts who’ve conjured up phony personas to bag the free holiday.
From here we head to Hawaii and learn that the Aloha State is both beautiful and – if this is anything to go by – where laughter goes to die. As Mike and Dave slowly twig that they’re been taken for a ride we get a set-piece involving out-of-control quad bikes, a slew of cameos from US stand-ups and no shortage of nudity. Thank heavens for the latter. At least when the film shifts towards full-on outrageousness there’s a reprieve from the hopeless, half-improvised dialogue. It sounds implausible but the sight of Silicon Valley’s Kumail Nanjiani completely naked and suspended from the ceiling is a welcome one.