College Road Trip

While Martin Lawrence and Raven-Symoné can’t get fast enough to Georgetown in Roger Kumble’s “College Road Trip”, cinemagoers can’t get fast enough out of the movie theater. Walt Disney has hit rock bottom again with its latest family comedy, inviting audiences to watch dull characters acting imbecilic during an irksome trip from Illinois to Washington, D.C. Had they only taken the plane in the first place, Disney would have saved some money and we wouldn’t have wasted our precious time.

Lawrence slips into the role of Chief James Porter, an overprotective father who decides to personally drive his daughter Melanie to her favorite college for a crucial interview. As expected, dad acts like a hyperactive freak and wrecks the car, causing the trip to be interrupted by tons of embarrassing mishaps and serious family trouble. If you feel you’ve seen all this before, you most certainly have.

Pointing out all the flaws in “College Road Trip” would be a total loss of time, so let me put it this way: the movie stinks. The script completely fails to give the actors subtle enough material to work with, causing the film to collapse under the embarrassing performances by Lawrence and Raven. Young girls may actually applaud Raven’s constant shrieking and jumping around, but chances are everyone else will be desperately looking for the closest exit.

The road trip itself is a never-ending bore, following the Porters as they crush a wedding, get lost in the woods, and encounter a frenetic father and daughter who sing annoying songs and never shut up. A high dose of pathetic slapstick and mind-crushing dialogue turn this film into a forgettable tragedy. Even the conventional story of the precautionary father struggling to let his daughter go falls flat.

It’s been five long years since Martin Lawrence delivered a solid performance (the last one was in “Bad Boys II”), and I don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. As usual, Lawrence talks too much and makes ugly grimaces. As for Raven, she’s just doing the exact same thing she’s always doing on television. Like it or not, it’s pretty simplistic acting.

“College Road Trip” should be avoided at any cost. Unless you want to watch a pig get high on coffee beans, don’t take your kids on a trip to the movie theater this weekend. Save your money for “Horton Hears a Who” instead

Review by Franck Tabouring