Dude, Where's My Car? Review

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A pair of bargain bin Bill and Teds wake up after a bender and, unable to recall anything that happened the night before, set out to retrace their wasted steps and find their misplaced ride. In the process the knuckle-headed stoners encounter alien invaders, marauding ostriches and a plot to destroy the universe.


Never mind the wheels, whatever happened to the plot? Mistaking repetition of dialogue for a fruitful means of laughter grabbing, the misadventures of two stoners searching aimlessly for their missing motor takes in witless and painfully unfunny in equal measures, without ever throwing in an original idea in its 82-minute running time.

On paper there is an engaging simplicity to the premise and the restriction of forcing the action into the compressed timespan of one night often forces filmmakers to get creative - witness Ferris Bueller's Day Off, American Grafitti, After Hours, Three O'Clock High. Yet director Leiner and writer Stark have crafted a wasteland of jokes that missed the mark where the occasional laughs die of loneliness.

That the visiting aliens give the dudes jewellery that makes girls' "hoo haas" (the film's patois) bigger is a perfect barometer for the level of humour involved. Moreover, one of the two funny gags in the movie, the boys' discovery that they both have tattoos - "Dude! What's mine say?" "Sweet! What's mine say?" - appears in the trailer.

Given better material, it's not unthinkable that Kutcher and Scott could work very well as a comedic twosome: the former boasts an amiable goofy quality and the latter has proved in American Pie and Road Trip that he knows how to deliver a punchline. Along the way, the pair encounter Fabio (in the film's other decent joke), Brent Spiner as a Frenchman and Kristy Swanson as the obligatory teen babe.

The dumb buddy comedy has a noble lineage stretching back to Laurel And Hardy and beyond. This stream of celluloid inanity could draw a chalk outline round its corpse. All together: “Dude, where’s my refund?”

It's very, very stupid, but there are still enough truly barking set-pieces to keep you entertained, and at times it's innocently loveable, like a small dog which keeps running into a plate glass window.