Another painfully annoying Martin Lawrence movie or finally a refreshing Martin Lawrence comedy? Actually, it’s a combination of the two.
Chief of Police James Porter (Martin Lawrence) is a father devoted to spending every lasting moment with his little daughter Melanie (Raven-Symoné). He starts to worry, and the movie begins in earnest, when Melanie plans on going across the country to find the perfect college. James’s plan is to get her to go to the closest college possible, exactly 28 minutes away from her home. However, his plan isn’t as easy as he thought it would be.
Yep, it does have a couple lame jokes, a few annoying characters, and some unnecessary sing-alongs, all of which make up some of the worst moments in the film. Fortunately, we have twice as many laugh-out-loud moments, a few heartwarming incidents, and that adorable pig Albert, which combine to make more than a few bright spots in this G-rated film. It’s a hit-and-miss family comedy.
It’s predictable, yet fluffy and clean family entertainment. It’s perfect for the family in the fact that nothing is vile and it still manages to make adults laugh, or, at the very least, smile. Much of those laughs or smiles come thanks to the comedic duo that is Albert the Pig and Martin Lawrence. The two managed to make me crack up quite a few times. And all the laughs are true, never forced.
As for the supporting cast, they didn’t bring the comedy as much as they brought some headache-inducing duets and solos. If you can get past those moments, you will have a good time. Director Roger Kumble (Cruel Intentions, Cruel Intentions 2, Just Friends) doesn’t top any of his previous films, but he shows moments of good comedic capabilities here and there. It is easy to say that without Donny Osmond and Molly Ephraim (who play another dad-daughter pair out looking at colleges), the overload of overly sentimental moments, and the horrendous singing, this would almost be a highly recommended film.
Clearly this is Disney Channel material with higher production values and a big Hollywood star filling the lead role. It is a film I can recommend for a family with children under the age of 8; the kids will probably find the parts that annoy adults pretty funny. On the other hand, if you’re a critical person and are looking at all aspects of the film, you can’t help but see much of the lame humor that takes place on this College Road Trip. Overall however, there are enough laugh-out-loud moments (which I wasn’t expecting from a G-rated comedy) to make it palatable for a family. Everyone else would be just fine avoiding this one. 2.5/5 stars
The DVD’s special features include the usual gag reel, deleted scenes, alternate opening and endings, and audio commentary tracks.