Thursday, April 23, 2020

Review: Man Camp

Release date: October 24, 2019
Running time: 94 minutes
Starring:  Pete Gardner, Daniel Cummings, Scott Kruse 

Man Camp is the story of 3 brothers: Adam, Tim, and Kevin Mann looking to keep their father's legacy and tradition alive.  They used to take an annual trip to the family cabin that they would call "Man Camp." These 3 very distinctly different personalities, looking for a little weekend mischief and relaxation, are surprised to find that their widowed mother has also taken the same week to escape with her hapless secret fiancee Alan. Driven by their undying loyalty to their deceased father, the brothers put Alan to the test to see if he is Mann enough to be a part of the family.  

Man Camp was absolutely silly.  It has slapstick comedy and a simple story that lets you enjoy the characters.  There isn't any depth or development for the characters here; the plot focused heavy on the comedic antics and skits driven by the man children roles each of the 3 sons had.  But the main character's performances and vibrant personalities are just enough to get the job done.  They truly were cohesive on screen. And while the 3 of them did a great jobs, Pete Gardner really was the standout. Much like his other performances, he continues to show why comedic roles are natural for him. His performances brighten up every scene with energy and poise. 

Outside of the acting and comedy, the movie just falls flat as a complete body of work. I felt that there were noticeable editing blunders, and even some sound mixing issues where it was tough to hear certain character dialog.  I also felt that many of the jokes just didn't stick.  Sure there were lots of silly and entertaining moments, but this part again speaks to potential editing issues.  Lastly while the main plot has resolution, the other subplots they introduced don't. It leaves you wondering why they left some of these hanging with a relatively simple story.  In any event, it left a sour taste in my mouth after an enjoyable, but silly story.

Man Camp has enjoyable performances, a light-heated story, and a feel good comedy ending, but other issues with the film make prevent this from being a must-take trip.  

Rent it.

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