With the ever increasing level of raunch in comedies, it has to be hard to one up all of the competition. Sex Drive doesn’t necessarily overcome its competitors, but it does take to the usual standard for sex comedies. The unrated cut is an entirely different story.
Nothing about Sex Drive is original. Josh Zuckerman plays Ian, who might as well be Jason Biggs. He thinks he’s scored an online date with a woman, but has to drive to Tennessee to meet her. Along with two friends, they go through an expected level of misadventures on a trip that constantly pushes them further away from their goal.
So no, Sex Drive isn’t a reinvention of the genre, nor is it going to shock an audience like American Pie. It’s nothing more than a simple road-trip movie filled with as much profane dialogue, embarrassment, and sex as possible. That said, it’s freakin’ hilarious.
Despite knowing everything that will happen and how it will all work in the end, the film never slows down in terms of laughs. It covers all of its bases (no pun intended), providing varying degrees of comedy to please everyone… who’s not easily offended by the sight of a rubber penis stuck to a man-sized doughnut.
Seth Green has a priceless cameo as an Amish car repairman, and it’s a shame there’s not more of him. James Marsden is a long way from Prince Edward in Enchanted, playing Ian’s hotheaded brother who puts his ’69 GTO before people. He’s also on the receiving end of some hilarious lines, including a few new ways to think of the male anatomy.
While the story may be completely unoriginal, horribly contrived (the ending is so implausible it’s ridiculous), and completely without taste, Sex Drive is able to hold it together thanks to its pacing and snappy jokes. The director’s cut included here is rightfully stated by the director (in a hilarious intro) that it’s not the movie to see first. It’s nudity for the sake of nudity, and well over two hours. The theatrical cut is the way to go.
The movie shines on Blu-ray, delivering as any modern film should. Contrast is superb, with rich, deep blacks and whites that are in control. Colors are well saturated without looking unnatural or bleeding. Sharpness is constantly high, and never seems to waver. A bit of noise can creep up at times, especially during the first party sequence outside. Detail is outstanding, with individual hairs and pores consistently visible on the actor’s faces. There is a very small amount of edge enhancement visible in a few scenes, but it’s incredibly minor and hard to see.
While not a movie crying out for uncompressed audio, the Blu-ray contains a meager Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. For a straightforward comedy, it’s not a huge problem. Bass kicks in when the music requires it, and delivers slightly when engines crank. There are some notable instances of surround work, including some decent if unspectacular ambience during parties. Positional audio, from doors slamming to thrown objects moving out of the frame, is consistent.
Extras are played for laughs, and sadly not all have made the cut from DVD edition. A filmmaker commentary includes Sean Anders, John Morris and producer Bob Levy. Making a Masterpiece is an 11-minute joke feature about the “epic” everyone was making. The same goes for the other two featurettes, one focusing on James Marsden, the other on Clarke Duke. The latter two combined barely make it past the 10-minute mark. There are multiple featurettes missing from the DVD version, which is rather inexcusable, even if space was an issue. Make it a 2-disc set. Problem solved.