Eurotrip Review

Continuing the trend of summer tits and ass comedies, Eurotrip is the latest film from the production team between Road Trip and Old School - both of which have garnered a fairly good reputation riding on the wave set down by American Pie and it's sequels. In the past few years we've had the coming of age comedy (American Pie), the road trip comedy (Road Trip), the college comedy (Van Wilder) along with countless others that try to spoof the spoofs - Not Another Teen Movie being the most obvious example. Eurotrip fits in with the first group in that it's not conciously ripping the piss out of other films in the genre, but at the same time it shares way too much with the later. In fact, the only thing it doesn't share with any of the films I've mentioned so far is the laughs.



The film opens with Scott (Scott Mechlowicz) graduating from high school only to get dumped on-camera by his girlfriend, Fiona (a cameo by Smallville's Kristin Kreuk), who has shacked up with a singer called Donny (another cameo, this time by Matt Damon). So, in order to get over his heartbreak, Scott decides to head to Europe with his friend Cooper (Jacob Pitts) to meet up with Mieke (Jessica Böhrs) - his German internet pen-friend. On their travels the meet up with former classmates Jamie (Travis Wester) and Jenny (Michelle Trachtenberg). From this point on we're just treated to one European stereotype after another - the English football hooligans, the Amsterdam sex clubs, a strange gay Italian man - the list goes on. Given that stereotypes are what films like this are about, if Eurotrip was a funny film then they could work but unfortunately they end up appearing more offensive than amusing and go some way to backing the tabloid fuelled notion that American's know very little about what actually goes on outside of their own country (I hasten to add that it's a notion with which I don't agree!).



So what does work? I've been racking my brains to come up with something - I do remember laughing a few times yet none of these laughs were in the slightest bit memorable. There's the David Hasselhoff clip in a love scene and Donny's song 'Scotty Doesn't Know', celebrating the fact that he's shagging Scott's ex-girlfriend, being played all around Europe and that's it. And, if Hasselhoff is your thing you'd be much better off checking out this video (requires Java) which offers far, far more entertainment than the whole of Eurotrip.

Even more astounding is the fact that the writers have a good grasp of comedy and between them have worked on things like Seinfeld and the ill-fated Clerks animated series, both of which have been critically acclaimed in the past. Ex-Seinfeld scribe Jeff Schaffer also makes his directorial debut with Eurotrip and while the result is nothing particularly noteworthy and could in no way be considered as being fresh or exciting, I can't really fault his work here. That said, it's the sort of anonymous direction that anyone straight of film school could do with their eyes shut.

The other big problem the film faces is the cast - for the most part they're just very very irritating. All four leads seem very much like typical spoilt brats, and given that she has the most acting experience I would have though Michelle Trachtenberg in particular might be able to show a little bit of distance from her portrayal of Dawn on Buffy - she doesn't. The best performance is almost certainly Matt Damon's very brief appearance in the film in which he blows everyone else away - and gives us false hope that Eurotrip might not be too bad.



The DVD

The DVD on review here is the unrated Region 1 release. It is packaged in a new type of Amaray case with additional 'latches' to keep the case shut.

Picture

For a modern DVD the picture quality is distinctly average with copious amounts of grain and lots of unforgivable edge enhancement. Even then, the actual picture is fairly soft and uninspiring. The colour palette is subdued and there's nothing here to make it stand out.

Technically, we've got a 1.85:1 Anamorphic transfer.



Sound

There are two English soundtracks on offer - Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS. Neither is outstanding and I see little reason for the inclusion of DTS other than as a selling point.

There is very little in the way of surround action and the rear speakers are largely relegated to providing background atmospherics. The sub channel does get a bit of a work out thanks to the soundtrack, but that's all there is to make it any more than average.

Extras

On initial inspection the extras seem promising - however once you dig a little deeper you'll discover that other than the main filmmaker's commentary they're just the usual filler fluff that we've come to expect.

Gag Reel
Some vaguely funny outtakes from the film - fluffed lines mainly. However, the reel seems to be intercut with actual final scenes from the film so I'm not really sure just how much of the running time is made up of real outtake material.



Deleted Scenes
There are six deleted scenes with an optional commentary presented in non-anamorphic 1.85:1. I have to say that all of the scenes are actually funnier than most of the film although I imagine they weren't quite risque or offensive enough to make the final cut.

Alternate Ending
A slightly more downbeat and more effective ending to the film. After travelling around Europe, Scott is turned down by Mieke. There's an optional commentary explaining the reasons why the other ending was chosen over this one.

Nude Beach Exposed
Even more purile than the film itself - the whole focus seems to be the fact that there are 50 dicks on screen at the same time. Shock, horror. This runs on for far too long and just goes to show how funny the writers think they are.

Commentaries
There are two commentary tracks - the 'Filmmaker's commentary' and the 'Party commentary', both featuring the writers and director. The first is more informative with some quite amusing anecdotes and details on the film making process. The second commentary is just the same three people drinking while watching the film - and the net result is the same as going to the pub, not drinking and seeing everyone getting more and more pissed around you, not fun!

The commentary probably offers more value than the film itself and there are some genuinely amusing anecdotes

There are also two additional scene indexes - the Nude Scene Index and the Unrated Scene Index. Both are self explanatory



Overall

Eurotrip is probably the worst 'teen' comedy so far. It's derivative, unoriginal, unfunny and at times potentially offensive. I like a good gross out comedy as much as anyone, but the evidence suggests that we've hit the bottom of the barrel.

The DVD is average at best - not one I'd recommend adding to your collection (or even renting once the film appears in the UK). If you're after a comedy that sees American's out of their depth in Europe then look no further than National Lampoons European Vacation - it's a far superior film in every respect.

Film
2 out of 10
Video
5 out of 10
Audio
6 out of 10
Extras
4 out of 10
Overall

3

out of 10
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