Without a Paddle is a comedy showcasing the strong bonds of true friendship. Billy, Tom, Jerry, and Dan grew-up as best friends. They played together, built a fort together, and were always there for each other. Graduating from high school, they all went in separate directions but continued to share the common bond of fraternal brotherhood.
Billy traveled the world. Tom became a womanizing drifter. Jerry went to college, got a business job, lives with a woman who loves him, but he seems to be dealing with an early mid-life crisis. Dan became a doctor, but he still has zero luck with the ladies and is still extremely timid.
When Billy dies 10 years later, the remaining friends meet in Oregon for the funeral. They decide to visit the old tree fort, and they find the box they put together after deciding that they all would find D.B. Cooper’s lost treasure one day. D.B. Cooper was the infamous bank robber that jumped out of a plane and disappeared with a backpack full of stolen cash.
Looking through the box, they discover a new map showing where Cooper might have disappeared in the Oregon woods. The guys realize Billy must have created it for them to explore, and they realize that must have been the trip that Billy had wanted all of them to take the year before, but none of them had been able to make it.
Despite their different obligations, they agree to take two weeks and follow the map in honor of Billy. The trip becomes a chaotic mess as their camp is invaded by a Kodiak bear; their map becomes torn; they lose their canoe; they stumble upon two crazy rednecks; they meet two of nature’s freaks and more. By the end of the film, the guys discover more about themselves than they ever expected.
Extras on the DVD include commentary, deleted scenes (several of which I wished they had left in), a behind-the-scenes look featurette, trailers, and the commercial spots done on TV.
GRADE: B+ (movie) B+ (DVD)