DUDE, WHERE'S MY CAR?
Reviewed August 5th, 2001 by David Nusair
If you rent Dude, Where's My Car? and actually find yourself disappointed with what it ends up being (a dumb comedy)...well, what exactly were you expecting from a movie called Dude, Where's My Car?
Ashton Kutcher stars as Jesse, while Seann William Scott stars as his best bud Chester - they're a couple of idiots, plain and simple. The movie opens after a particularly harsh night of partying - they can't remember a thing - and Jesse's car is missing (hence the title). The rest of the film follows their various misadventures as they attempt to recover the lost car, make up with their angry girlfriends, locate a missing alien device before the universe is destroyed (no, really) and avoid an irate transsexual stripper.
Dude, Where's My Car? runs a short 83-minutes and yet still feels long. Apart from one really funny sequence involving a Chinese food store, there aren't many laughs in the movie. And since you're not watching a flick like this for plot or character development, that translates into a lot of jokes just falling flat and uninspired hijinks.
But the movie is always entertaining, buoyed by the two lead performances. Kutcher and particularly Scott embody these two morons with just the right amount of lovable stupidity and bull-headed determination. But Dude, Where's My Car? would have been far more successful if the screenwriter hadn't felt it necessary to bog down the story with countless side-characters and bizarre subplots (the whole outer-space thing winds up taking control of the movie at about the one-hour mark). Kutcher and Scott are quite enjoyable when they're just being idiotic, so the movie really should have featured more scenes like the one in which they discover each other's tattoos (one says “dude” while the other says “sweet”) and proceed to get into a fight over what they say. That was funny. The alien stuff was not.
Audio: Dude, Where's My Car is presented with a DD 5.1 track (in addition to a Dolby surround 2.0 track), and it's generally quite good. The opening credits, which take place in outer space, make great use of surround sound and the 5.1 track is well up to the challenge. The majority of the flick is mostly talking, though, so either track is suitable.
Video: Given that this is a Fox release, it's no surprise that the 1.85:1 anamorphic transfer is excellent. The colors are bright and vibrant, and the picture is completely free of film or DVD-related artifacts. A great transfer all around.
Extras: First, there's a commentary track with director Danny Leiner and stars Ashton Kutcher and Seann William Scott. This track manages to be completely useless in terms of information, but wholly enjoyable in terms of sheer entertainment. It's obvious this trio are good friends in real life, and this track plays like three buds getting together and enjoying a movie. Just don't expect to learn any real facts about making the movie. Next up is a short four and a half minute featurette. This is the usual thing, with the stars explain the concept of the movie and talking about the working experience. But there's also something called DudeCam, which features either Kutcher or Scott wielding a digital video camera and talking to their various co-stars. Some of this footage was quite interesting and even revealing, so it's a shame that more of it wasn't included on the disc. Dude, Where's My Car? was rated PG-13 by the MPAA, so it's no surprise that the next section, entitled “scene extensions,” features seven scenes that had to be toned down for the PG-13. These are all pretty interesting, but the cuts don't really hurt the content of the scenes (though it was definitely a good idea to include them, so we can get a better idea of where the line between PG-13 and an R rating is - apparently you can say “oral pleasure” once and get a PG-13, but any more and you've got an R). Up next is a music video for the song Stoopid Ass by Grand Theft Auto (full frame). Finally, there's the trailer (full frame), three TV spots and a 30-second ad for the soundtrack.
Conclusion: Dude, Where's My Car? should have been a throwback to dumb comedies of the late '80s and early '90s (that usually starred Pauly Shore), but alas, is not.
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