Dave White
The Sitter Review

Dave's Rating:


Pick a different adventure.

When the Universe comes to Jonah Hill in the night and demands a remake of Adventures in Babysitting willed into existence, Jonah Hill responds for the cause of art and shouts into the black, shapeless void, "Yes, Universe!"

Then former art-house filmmaker David Gordon Green comes aboard. He's kind of a "whatever happens, happens" guy at this point. After the excellently strange Pineapple Express, which, in cased you missed it, is a movie about weed, you could be forgiven for thinking that he might be smoking a lot of it himself. Hence Your Highness. Hence this.

After that, Sam Rockwell agrees to co-star as the insane coke dealer. He's the funniest thing in the movie and his drug den alone -- like something David LaChappelle would dream up on Nyquil -- might be worth the cost of a cheap second-run theater ticket. There are so many insane details floating around Rockwell's character that you wish the entire story had been about him. Maybe originally it was. We'll never know. Because the Universe yanked the movie out of Hill's and Green's hands and turned it into something about a repellent creep who learns how to be nice by babysitting three obnoxious kids for one crazy night. I'm not making excuses for Hill and Green. I just think the Universe is a tough taskmaster. Why else would it grind the movie to a halt so that all the kids can learn lessons, one by painful boring one, as well? The Universe knows that that's why you go to a raunchy R-rated comedy, to watch children emote meaningfully. And in a nod to his groundbreaking work in How High, the Universe allowed Method Man a small role. Obviously this means that the Universe loves Wu-Tang Clan, just not enough to allow Method's character to be more than a stereotypical thug who takes a shine to Jonah Hill. Bummer.

What the Universe should have told these guys is to pick a lane. Because what wound up happening is the kind of movie that would come over to your house, pre-baked, all smiles, insisting that you spend the evening playing beer pong, only to get uncomfortably weepy and apologetic while coming down because, you know, you must think he's such a waste of time, always high and beer ponging and stuff. He tries to reassure you that he's really capable of deep feeling and genuine emotions but all you want to do is kick him out because now you're just annoyed. All you want is for somebody, something, somewhere to make you laugh. Is that so much to ask?


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