There are some genuinely clever moments of physical comedy, and the inevitable crudeness is offset by winning whimsy. Without has all the freshness of moldering Playboys stashed under a mattress, but it evokes what few boys-will-be-boys larks can: chumminess.
Is it a stupid movie? Absolutely but it's a freakin hilarious movie and so very memorable. It's the kind of movie that really sticks into your head, Even if it's been years since you have seen it. If it airs on TV or something, I would happily sit down and watch it because it suprisingly is able to retain most of it's value despite having seen it a good 7-8 times. It's a cult classic and that's pretty rare to see now-a-days. Critics got this movie dead wrong.
This is one of many examples where the "users" the viewing public loves a movie and the critics hate it. You are entitled to conclude that in such cases, the critics tag onto one of their smartass, snooty brethren and diss the hell out of an otherwise enjoyable movie. "Without a Paddle" is definitely one of those.
Another issue is plausibility always a challenge for writers: How far can you stretch reality without the audience going "Oh, man, that's just not real!" There are a number of events in this movie that are not real but they're close enough to buy them, and doing so gives you a good feeling. It's in the category of, "You know, by god, it just might have happened that way." And when accompanied by some laughs, as here, it works just fine.
So hats off to the "Without a Paddle" crew, and a royal razzberry to the critics. I give it a solid Seven.
Without a Paddle is a great movie to watch while you are hanging out with your friends, but it a good movie? I don't really think so. The film has three supporting comedy characters as stars and I think they do pretty well but the film is missing a true strong commanding comedy presence. I did get some enjoyment out of the film because I could make some connections with it, but the characters were pretty clichéd and I thought that the film was not laugh out loud funny. I had maybe two good laughs in the film and that was it.
Matthew Lillard is a good actor (see Scream) and Seth Green is quite a good voice actor (see Family Guy, Robot Chicken ect.) and yet both (especially Green) acted horrifically. It's painful to watch; I think I smiled weakly once.
Just a badly made, terrible film.