One Forgettable Road Trip
From Road Trip to Girl Trip and every trip in between, these sorts of stories have been played out time and again to the point of losing their effectiveness. Desperados is a film that seems to know it has an uphill battle before it even starts. The result is something that feels tired and worn out; a film released 15 years too late and one unlikely to be remembered longer than 15 hours.
The story revolves around hopeless romantic Wesley. Jumping between fruitless first dates and cursing her romantic demons, Wesley strikes lucky when she happens upon the man of her dreams outside in the street, Jared Sterling. The two hit it off immediately but after sleeping together, Wes doesn’t hear from him for two days and expects the worst.
In a drunken fit of rage, she sends a damning email to him. Unfortunately, it turns out Jared was involved in a pretty horrific injury and is recovering in hospital – hence the lack of reply. What follows is a race against time as Wesley travels with her two friends down to Mexico in a bid to retrieve Jared’s stuff and delete the email before it’s too late.
This plot is almost identical to that of Road Trip; a movie released 20 years earlier that even shares a dancing scene midway through the picture. The trouble with Desperados – aside from the lack of originality and creative ideas – comes from the various comedic set-pieces dotted throughout the 100 minute run-time.
The jokes here are never clever or very imaginative and a lot of the time resort to shock tactics or vulgarity. The idea of a little boy in love with a woman, accidentally touching her breast and giving her mouth to mouth may seem funny but the execution is anything but; it just feels creepy.
The film goes further too, with one particularly incredulous moment including a dolphin setting a low bar for the rest of the film to adhere to when it comes to comedy.
Unfortunately there’s no redeeming features to be found with Wesley and the gang either and the character arcs – right down to the supporting players like Sean – are predictably written and offer little deviation from the cookie cutter archetypes they’ve been expected to fill. In a way, the cast seem to know this too and the acting is less than inspiring with a distinct lack of charm or enthusiasm for some of these scenes.
Desperados feels like a desperate plea to rekindle the road trip movie without the gas in the tank to go the distance. It’s a film that adheres to every plot beat in the book but does so with little creativity or flair. With an abundance of crude humour and plenty of jokes that don’t land, this is one movie you’re probably best left avoiding.