Dude, Where's My Car?

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner1/02/2001

Two out of five stars
Running time: 82 mins

Dumb comedy aimed squarely at its target audience of teenagers – good central performances, some inspired moments and a few good laughs, but probably a lot funnier if you’re 15-20.

Yet another addition to the long line of ‘Stupid Movies’ that Hollywood insists on churning out – you can blame the Farrelly Brothers and Dumb & Dumber if you like, but Dude, Where’s My Car? has its roots as far back as Cheech & Chong’s pot-smoking comedies from the 1970s, as well as in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure in 1988.

In terms of recent movies, this isn’t as good as American Pie or Road Trip, but is better than Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigalo or any of the recent Adam Sandler movies. It should probably come with a warning, though – if you’re over 25, this movie will make you feel old!

You don’t go into a movie called ‘Dude, Where’s My Car?’ expecting high-minded entertainment (well, not THAT kind of ‘high-minded’,anyway), and, true to form, ‘Dude’ lives down to expectations. Two stoner roommates, Jesse (Ashton Kutcher from C5’s ‘That 70s Show’) and Chester (Seann William Scott from American Pie and Road Trip) wake up to discover they have a lifetimes’ supply of pudding and no recollection of how they got it.

They also discover that, in addition to trashing their girlfriends’ (‘the twins’) house, they have also lost their car, which they need to get back, because without it they can’t give the twins their anniversary presents which will result in the much-coveted "Special Treats".

Setting out to retrace their steps, they accumulate more and more increasingly bizarre details of the night before, until they are being pursued by a bunch of bubble-wrapped alien worshipping cult members, some ‘Nordic Dudes’, an irate transsexual stripper demanding her $200,000 back, some jocks intent on beating them up, and some Hot Alien Babes offering "oral pleasure" in return for something called a "continuum transfunctioner", which the fate of the universe depends on, and which also happens to be –yes!- in their car. Wherever it is.

Sadly, the film sounds a lot funnier on paper than it actually is, although it does have its good moments. The scene where they discover they have "Dude" and "Sweet" tattooed on each other’s backs and their attempts to convey this information ("Dude! What does my tattoo say?" "Sweet! What about mine?" "Dude! What about mine?" etc) is probably destined for classic status, as is the bizarre scene where they’re attacked by ostriches (or are they llamas?)

There’s also a superb flashback scene that recalls one of the best gags from Being John Malkovich. There are bad points too, obviously – there’s a rap-video sequence that seems wildly out of place, some of the slang seems forced ("shibby"?) and the film seems much too clean (dope references aside) for this kind of movie - though this may be a good thing to some.

It would be nice to think that a scene in which the two characters kiss each other in a bizarre face-off with ‘Fabio’ (a muscle-bound ‘hunk’ familiar to US TV audiences) was intended to be subversive in some way, but it’s more likely it was dreamed up as just another gross-out moment. At any rate, the two leads are very appealing, and the movie is, at least, mercifully short.

If you lower your expectations and load up on the stimulant of your choice beforehand, you’ll probably enjoy this.

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Content updated: 24/10/2019 19:36

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