As soon as there’s a hit movie you can be sure of numerous copycats although it would be unfair to say they’re never any good. Search Party is point in fact: While not as polished as its inspiration, The Hangover, the story is unpredictable enough to supply plenty of laughs.
Co-written by debut director Scot Armstrong, who was responsible for The Hangover Part II, it’s a boys own adventure when two mates halt the wedding of their friend. The bride runs off and the groom goes after her, only to wake up stranded and naked in Mexico.
Here the adventure splits as his two mates come to the rescue, finding plenty of trouble on their journey while the jilted groom finds trouble of his own waiting for rescue.
Starring Thomas Middleditch as would-be groom Nardo, with TJ Miller and Adam Pally as his mates, the story zips along with moments of sheer hilarity interspersed amongst a tamer chuckle fest that carries most of the film.
Faced with drug lords, shootouts, a jail break, car-jacking and urban myths come to life, they are helped along by friend Elizabeth (Alison Brie) as they encounter many an oddball situation or person, most notably Jason Mantzoukas as kidney thief The Amazing Hugo, and two very inappropriate wedding singers.
Armstrong shows a good deal of imagination with his co-writers Andrew Waller and Mike Gagerman and, while there is some nudity, they refrain from plummeting into the depths of a boozed up sex comedy as a lot of these kinds of films seem to do. It’s the unexpected twists that keep it fun and engaging. The main characters are all loveable in their own way and many of the cameos are too. Many a time, laughs come from the background reactions so keep an eye out beyond what’s happening up front.
While this film is unlikely to win any notable awards, it’s sure to appeal to many of the same audiences as The Hangover and other similar adventure tales. It’s the kind of popcorn flick to simple kick back with pizza and enjoy.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Rating out of 10: 6
Search Party will be released by Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Download on 4 June 2015.