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Trailer Park Boys: Don’t Legalize It (2014)

by on 2014/11/18

Trailer Park Boys Don't Legalize It (2014)“PLEASE RETURN TO LOBBY”

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To know me you might not believe how big a Trailer Park Boys fan I am. Unfortunately, with their recent entry, Don’t Legalize It, my against-the-odds affection for their antics has been somewhat tested.

It reminded me at several points of watching Red Green’s Duct Tape Forever, a meaner-spirited feature version of a series anchored by its relationships, as if a theatrical experience demanded more conflict. (Ironically both employed pun-based tag lines specifically referencing friendship: “Friends Stick Together” and “Best Buds”.)

Certainly I understand the need to offer something different, to raise the stakes, but why at the cost of enjoyment?

In a version of Sunnyvale reminiscent of the Xmas Special — neither the excellent pilot film nor the standalone movie — the core trio have drifted apart, reunited first by a funeral, and then in a forced shared road trip.

Bubbles’ (Mike Smith) quest is to find the home of his estranged parents in Kingston, Julian (John Paul Tremblay) is selling “clean” urine to druggies in Montreal, and Ricky (Robb Wells) intends to convince Ottawa to keep marijuana illegal, thus ensuring his business remains uncontrolled. The few best parts of the entire piece involve their bonding en route, over halfway through the running time, and all too briefly at that.

Otherwise a somber tone is struck throughout, both unfunny and oppressive, as if one of the weaker episodes were drawn out several times its own length. For an effort so heavily marketed as a journey to other places, the departure takes off more than halfway through, and maybe ten minutes is spent in each other city.

It’s a disappointing far cry from the originality of another recent show. Their Live in Fuckin’ Dublin (on Netflix) is framed by a recorded setup story, culminating in their appearance on the stage, a conceit more fresh-yet-appropriate than this muddled mockumentary.

I’d say the filmmakers were treading water, but that conclusion would suggest something else: the too-easy maintenance of passable quality. I don’t believe this attempt is passable (even buoyed by a Corey Hart reference). To paraphrase Ricky, it adds assault to injury.

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Rated 14A

95 minutes

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