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Site created 12/15/97.

review added: 7/10/01

Dude, Where's My Car?
2000 (2001) - 20th Century Fox

review by Greg Suarez of The Digital Bits

Enhanced for 16x9 TVs

Dude, Where's My Car? Film Rating: F

Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): A-/B-/B

Specs and Features

83 mins, PG-13, letterboxed widescreen (1.85:1), 16x9 enhanced, single-sided, dual-layered (layer switch at 54:02 in chapter 16), audio commentary (by director Danny Leiner and stars Ashton Kutcher and Sean William Scott), "behind-the-scenes" featurette, 7 extended scenes, music video for Stoopid Ass by Grand Theft Audio, theatrical trailer, 3 TV spots, music promo spot, film-themed menu screens with animation and sound effects, scene selection (22 chapters), languages: English (DD 5.1 & 2.0), subtitles: English and Spanish, Closed Captioned

Dude, Where's My Car? is a dizzyingly idiotic film that lacks a coherent story or much in the way of humor. Which is a shame, because despite what critics said when the film was released theatrically, I truly hoped that this movie would have some good laughs. I really enjoyed American Pie and, God help me, I even found Road Trip surprisingly funny. I can accept that these "teen comedies" aren't going to win any Oscars, but films such as the two I just mentioned did have some memorable lines, great pranks and were generally enjoyable to watch. But unfortunately, Dude, Where's My Car? had me asking, "Dude, when's it gonna be over?"

When Jesse (Ashton Kutcher) and Chester (Sean William Scott) wake up after a night of intense partying, they can't remember much about the last 12 hours. All they know is that in the process of partying, they trashed their girlfriends' house... and the only way to calm the ladies down is to surprise them with the lovely anniversary presents that are in Jesse's car. I think you can guess what happens next. Jesse and Chester discover that the car is gone, and they must try to retrace their steps in order to find the car (and the gifts) so that they can enjoy the "special treats" promised by their girlfriends. On this epic journey, our heroes slowly discover that they did more than simply party the night before, after they have a run-in with a transsexual stripper in search of his/her briefcase containing $200,000, as well as conflicting races of aliens desperate to claim ownership of a continuum transfunctioner (I swear I'm not making this up). It seems Jesse and Chester are in possession of both of these items, but since they can't remember much from the night before, the two dunderheads are as confused as everyone else as to where these items might exactly be. By the way, this continuum transfunctioner could mean interstellar disaster if it falls into the wrong hands, so our stoner-idiot heroes must not only find their car, but also save the universe from annihilation (after about 70 minutes of this film, I was hoping they would fail).

Aside from the lousy script full of tiresome jokes, and the general lack of direction the film suffers from, not one character in this movie is written anywhere close to realistically. More specifically, Dude is fraught with situations and characters that seem to be created for the sole purpose of fitting into the clumsy story and attempting to move it forward. For example, in reality Jesse and Chester's girlfriends - who happen to be beautiful, intelligent women who run a school for the blind - would have less than nothing to do with these directionless, stoner-morons. Have you ever heard of a French ostrich farmer who holds people captive in cages (for more than three years) caught poaching his birds? Or, how about a cop so idiotic that he accidentally impounds a car instead of releasing it to its owner - AND THEN doesn't even have the intelligence to make a simple phone call to reverse his mistake. It's things like this that had me rolling my eyes instead of laughing even once. To each his own, I guess.

In case you liked this film, I'm sure you'll want to know if the disc looks and sounds good enough to warrant a purchase. Technically speaking, the disc is very good. The 1.85:1 anamorphic picture is very clean and smooth, only suffering from minor softness in areas. Compression artifacting and edge enhancement is never a problem, and the image is very vibrant and colorful. The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack delivers a nice sonic experience overall (the opening credits have some great directional and split-surround effects), but the dialog can sound chesty and muffled throughout most of the film. Ambient surround effects can be detected in certain areas of the movie (but are inconsistently used), and the songs and score are well recorded and nicely mixed into the film.

As for the extras, look for a raucous commentary track by director Danny Leiner and stars Ashton Kutcher and Sean William Scott. The three participants have a great time cracking on each other and recalling humorous anecdotes from the production. Some of it is informative from a filmmaking standpoint, and if you liked this movie, you'll have fun listening to the group reminisce about their experience. Seven extended scenes also appear as a supplemental feature. Each scene has just a few added seconds over the theatrical cut, but these seconds would have been enough to push this PG-13 film directly into R-rated territory. A 4-minute, EPK-style featurette is also included - little more than an attempt to sell the movie. A music video for the song Stoopid Ass by Grand Theft Audio, as well as a soundtrack promo, theatrical trailer and three TV spots round out the supplemental section.

If you liked Dude, Where's My Car?, then you'll love this DVD. But if you've never seen this film... then you would be wise to rent it first.

Greg Suarez
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