Will Mexican drug lords ever get a fair shake from Hollywood? In 2 Guns, Mark Wahlberg and Denzel Washington face off against a south-of-the-border psycho whose henchmen use live poultry for target practice. In Snitch, Dwayne Johnson tries bringing a cartel kingpin to justice - but when "El Topo" loses his top, look out. And what about that lunatic hombre in The Smurfs 2? OK, maybe not.
The image of contrabanding Latin American businessmen takes another hit in We're the Millers, an innocuously smutty road comedy starring Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston. Sudeikis is Dave, a small-time pot dealer and all-around under-achiever. Aniston is Rose, a stripper with money problems. A pot dealer, a stripper - wholesome family values, here we come!
Which is actually what the intermittently funny We're the Millers is about: Dave is in a jam, thanks to unctuous big-time dealer Brad Gurdlinger (Ed Helms), and the only way to fix things is to head down Sonora way and pick up a "smidge" of marijuana. When Dave brings the weed back to Denver, his debt will be forgiven.
But how to get across the border without drawing the attention of customs agents? Pretend you're Mr. and Mrs. Miller, a happy husband and wife with two squeaky-clean kids in tow, that's how. And so a gawky lost boy (Will Poulter) and a "homeless gutter punk" (an amusingly snarky Emma Roberts) are rounded up and thrown in the RV.
Drive, they said.
The drug lord the "Millers" make their pickup from is Pablo Chacon (Tomer Sisley). When the huge shipment of grass gets into the wrong hands, Pablo is understandably upset. He grunts and sneers, jumps in his sports car, and the chase is on. (He also demands Rose prove she's a stripper, thereby allowing Aniston the opportunity to show off her sculpted bod.)
Another couple, Don and Edie Fitzgerald (Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn), traveling with their teenage daughter (Molly C. Quinn), roll up in their RV, forcing Sudeikis and Aniston's characters to amp up their charade. The families share a campsite - and the couples share a tent for an exploratory round of "swinging."
We're the Millers is one of those R-rated comedies where it feels redundant to even bother noting that the humor hinges on scenarios more commonly associated with porn. That Sudeikis can even keep a straight face as he urges his ersatz son - a virgin, by the way - to sexually accommodate a corrupt Mexican cop (Luis Guzmán) is something of a feat.
The gags don't stop there.
We're the Millers **1/2 (Out of four stars)
Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber. With Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston, Emma Roberts, Will Poulter, and Nick Offerman. Distributed by Warner Bros.
Running time: 1 hour, 50 mins.
Parent's guide: R (profanity, drugs, nudity, violence, adult themes)
Playing at: area theaters
Contact Steven Rea at 215-854-5629 or email@example.com, or follow on Twitter @Steven_Rea. Read his blog, On Movies Online, at www.inquirer.com/onmovies.