Sometimes the strangest combinations make for the most interesting wholes. Will “Nature Calls” prove to be one of these? Our friends out at Magnet sent out a copy for us to review, and this one certainly has the elements of interesting. While for the most part, it will, it will also fall down on a lot of its own potential.
“Nature Calls” follows exuberant scoutmaster–actually, it’s Assistant Scoutmaster–Randy Stevens, who is a man on a mission. Out to give his father’s legacy as a scoutmaster a grand send-off, and his scout troop a camping experience they won’t forget, he sets out to find some kids to take camping. Thankfully, his brother Kirk has recently adopted a 10 year old boy, and is currently hosting a sleepover for said boy and several of the boy’s friends. Randy, meanwhile, hijacks the party to turn it into a scouting excursion no one will soon forget. But these boys are no scouts, and Kirk isn’t exactly happy about Randy’s plans. Oh, and neither are the various parents of the kids involved in the unexpected camping run. Can Randy make scouts out of these boys? Or is Randy looking at some serious jail time for kidnapping?
While many likely wouldn’t have expected the combination of Patton Oswalt and Johnny Knoxville in a kind-of family comedy–really only a kind-of family comedy; there’s enough obscenities and nudity flying around for most anyone’s taste–to end in anything but a disaster, but the plain and simple on this one is that there are plenty of laughs in here, as well as a few good old fashioned sad moments just to cut the treacle a bit and provide a note of counterpoint for the whole affair.
Some of it is going to be a little on the objectionable side. I’m not going to put out a lot of spoilers, but be forewarned. By like token, there will also be plenty of jokes in here as a sort of comedy of errors that’s thick with exciting developments. Perhaps the only down side on this one is that it’s unusually short. It’s running just under 80 minutes, which is a bit thin, and left plenty of possibility for more comic glee to get tossed in. Still, what’s here is sound enough and well worth catching.
Special features here will include a set of audio options as well as your choice of English or Spanish subtitles, a set of BD-Live features for connected players, a behind the scenes featurette, an outtake reel, an AXS TV look at “Nature Calls”, and trailers for “Nature Calls”, “Deadfall”, “2 Days In New York”, “Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil”, “Goon”, and a preview for AXS TV.
While “Nature Calls” won’t be anyone’s idea of top-notch quality filmmaking, it will put up several good laughs. This is enough to commend it, though it certainly could have been a lot more than it actually was.