The premise is clear enough from the trailer. Sudekis plays a man-child who deals pot for a living. He gets rolled by some toughs on the street and is cleaned out, much of his losses actually owned by his boss, played by Ed Helms, the big fish in the little pond of Denver’s drug scene. (Yes, apparently, Denver has a drug scene.) To forgive the debt, He agrees to go down to Mexico and pick up “a smidge of mari-ju-ana”.
He decides that the only way to fake out Customs is to hire some folks he knows to play his family. Jennifer Aniston is a down-on-her-luck stripper. Emma Roberts is a foul-mouthed street urchin. And Will Poulter is a super-nerdy latch-key kid.
You know that two things will happen even before the enormous RV gets rolling: something will go horribly wrong with this plan of David’s, and these ne’er-do-wells will eventually become the family that they’re pretending to be. None of the complications–a real Mexican drug lord, a genial DEA agent, a tarantula–is particularly far-fetched, but the film does have that Armageddon-style “everything goes wrong” feel to it. In fact, the bonding scenes, which could have been saccharine, are probably the best parts of the movie. You can sense the trajectories of each of the characters in the beginning of the film, so when they do become the best versions of themselves, it’s not coming out of left field.
The third act is a little light on the comedy, and lighter on the dramatic follow-through, but I didn’t feel cheated.