SXSW ’12: Nature Calls Movie Review
For the most part, I did fairly well with avoiding terrible films at SXSW this year, however there were a few and some that aren’t worth seeing all together. One of those films sadly happens to be one I had high hopes for called Nature Calls. I should have known something was wrong when they announced that the stars from the film, Patton Oswalt and Johnny Knoxville ended up not making it for the screening. Anytime B list celebrities don’t make it for their film that is on the big stage at a festival, you know the it can’t be that great.
In the film, brothers Kirk (Knoxville) and Randy (Oswalt) never saw eye-to-eye when it came to being a Boy Scout. Randy loved every minute of it while Kirk didn’t want to anything to do with it. Fast forward about 30 years and things haven’t changed much between the two. Randy is trying desperately to keep his own troop together while Kirk is a successful ATM machine owner. After Randy’s troop decides they don’t want to go camping and would rather go over to Kirk’s for his adopted son’s adoption/birthday party, Randy makes the ultimate decision to convince/kidnap the kids into going on one epic camping trip and show them the meaning of being a boy scout.
The film had so much potential, the synopsis sold me and about 1200 others who attended the screening, however the film failed to deliver. There was real no chemistry between Knoxville or Oswalt, they didn’t feel compatible their performances felt forced. The best part about the film came from the always entertaining Rob Riggle and the late Patrice O’Neil. Without these two guys, the film would have been unbearable to watch. It’s entertaining to see kids cause mischief and curse on screen, but it is very awkward to then watch a film with them and their mothers sitting right behind you, which happened to be my case. Also WTF was the deal with the naked motorcycle chick in the film?!?! There was no point for her existence yet she was there multiple times.
I really wanted to like the film, I tried so hard to convince myself that it wasn’t that bad, but after talking to a few others from different sites, we all agreed that this was a total bomb for Austin native Todd Rohal who has had success in past SXSW festivals. I do believe there is a funny movie that could be made about Boy Scouts, however Nature Calls failed to do this. I really felt bad that Patrice’s final film wouldn’t be a hit, but on a positive note, the dude was hilarious while he was on screen, so props to him.
Nature Calls doesn’t have a release date yet, and I’m not sure if it will make it to theaters. More than likely it will probably be available on VOD and get a DVD release but besides that, I don’t see this film being distributed nation wide.
Rating: Avoid at all cost unless you are a fan of Rob Riggle or Patrice O’Neil, then wait to catch it on TV for free. 1/10