RV (2006) starring Robin Williams, Cheryl Hines, Joanna Levesque, Josh Hutcherson, Jeff Daniels, Kristin Chenoweth directed by Barry Sonnenfeld Movie Review

RV (2006)   2/52/52/52/52/5

Robin Williams as Bob Munro in RV

The Big Rolling Turd

In "RV" the Munro family christen their home from home "The Big Rolling Turd" which to be honest could be used to describe the movie itself. It may sound harsh but "RV" continually rolls down the hill of mediocrity with a tired predictable story of family bonding, tired predictable jokes and a repetiveness which ends up grating long before the movie comes anywhere close to ending. I hate to say it but for the comic talent of Robin Williams "RV" is a full blown turkey.

Bob Munro (Robin Williams - Robots), an executive for a soda company, is feeling stressed especially with his boss putting pressure on him and his once loving family turning dysfunctional as his teenage children rebel. Forced to cancel a planned family vacation to Hawaii by his boss, Bob decides that a family road trip would be just as good and allow him to secretly do the work his boss wants whilst spending time with his family. But things don't run smoothly turning a family vacation into a road trip from hell.

Cheryl Hines and Josh Hutcherson in RV

Frankly the storyline to "RV" is poor, we've had dysfunctional families and work stresses covered more admirably in countless other movies same with the old favourite the road trip also feeling like a second rate copy. There lies the first problem for "RV" it's too generic, everything about the storyline feels like it's been done better else where and fails to add a new twist on the old favourite. It's a shame as the brief intro to the dysfunctional Munro family is actually quite nice, picking up on the insular lives of the family with their laptops, mp3 players and TVs in each room. But then nothing is ever made of it, preferring to follow in the foot steps of other movies.

In some ways you don't expect a road trip movie to bring a great storyline to the game, using the humour to deliver the much needed entertainment. But here again "RV" fails with jokes ending up predictable such as the obvious waste disposal scene, the attack of a wild animal scene and of course a plethora of driving accidents. There really is nothing new when it comes to the humour and it's unfortunate that Robin Williams is for the most left to make the humour work as not even he can make the oldest and lamest of gags funny. Saying that I am sure those who have never seen one of the many "National Lampoon" road trip movies will find the humour in "RV" entertaining but for those who have will probably end up bored of the obvious, repetitive and usually over long gags. Come on how long can you make a gag about a sticking seatbelt funny?

As already mentioned "RV" trades heavily on Robin Williams and although he isn't the only star in the movie it's very much left to him to try and make it all work. It's funny in a way as part of his character is that he is a stressed out tired exec and Williams certainly looks the part although I do wonder whether it was good acting and makeup or just that the movie and monotonous gags were taking their toll on him. There are moments of true Williams' genius but they are so few and far between that it has to go down as one of his worst performances in a comedy.

Helping to take a little bit of burden off Robin Williams is Jeff Daniels as the over friendly head of the Gornicke family, a permanent travelling family. But to be honest those few moments where Daniels tries to lift the humour again fail because what he gets to work with is predictable.

What this all boils down to is that for me "RV" is a disappointment which takes the old road trip tale, mixes it with a family bonding element but then doesn't try to do anything new to make it any different to all the other road trip movies. Even Robin Williams fails to make it any more entertaining because his performance feels scripted with old tired gags rather than the excitement he usually delivers when adlibbing. I suppose for those who are introduced to road trip movies via "RV" will find it fun but for those who have seen other ones before will most likely find it tired and repetitive.