RV starring Robin Williams

Long before the days of Jim Carrey, Adam Sandler and the Frat Pack, Robin Williams was Hollywood's reigning king of comedy in Hollywood. Alternating between comedic and dramatic roles, he achieved what his successors Carrey and Sandler have yet to achieved, winning an Oscar (although many times, I felt that Carrey was robbed of a nomination for his fantastic turns in Truman Show and Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, but that's another story) for his supporting performance in Good Will Hunting.

Since then, to me, things went downhill, he appeared in one dud (either critical or commercial) after another. Manipulative sentimental schmaltz hoping to reinforce his status as a good dramatic actor, yet the lackluster quality of these films destroyed his credibility. Jakob The Liar? Patch Adams? Death To Smoochy?

But just when I thought he was about to hit rock bottom with his desperate attempts to appear in Oscar-baits, he proved that he could be much more versatile than most have given him credit for as that villain in Insomnia and that psycho in One Hour Photo. After these two critically acclaimed performances, I wanted to see Robin Williams as a bad guy more. (kinda like how I want to see Jim Carrey in serious roles than comedic ones)

Unfortunately, RV is not such a movie. A mediocre family comedy that's sporadically funny, with a manipulatively heartwarming message (I'm not that cynical, but I know when I'm being manipulated). I went to see this with my dad and my little sister because my dad had free tickets for it. Robin Williams plays Bob Munro, a workaholic dad who rented a RV for a road trip with his dysfunctional family. A long-suffering wife (Cheryl Hines), a rebellious teenage daughter (Joanna 'JoJo' Levesque), and a hip-hop loving young son (Josh Hutcherson, the kid from Zathura, which I reviewed here).

Of course, you should know already that it's a tale of a bickering family who ends up learning to bond and understand each other more after the misadventures and obstacles that encountered during the trip (otherwise, you probably haven't seen that many movies). Yes, there's potty humour and slapstick humour for you to laugh at. Other than that, there's not much about the movie that I can recommend.

Being a star vehicle for Robin Williams, it's unsurprising that he is given a lot to do here. But I agree with Kevin Carr's review that his improv-style humour was out of place in this film even though they were kinda funny (when he launched into a rap to protect his son from a bunch of thugs). He's a middle-aged cog getting increasingly out of touch with his family. Carr suggested that Steve Martin would've made this film much funnier. (... look at the numerous family comedies Martin had been doing in the past few years)

But personally, I would go for Bill Murray.

Watch the trailer for RV:

Watch Robin Williams promote this film at the Ellen Degeneres Show:

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