Summit Entertainment // 2008 // 109 Minutes // Unrated
Reviewed by Judge Franck Tabouring (Retired) // March 18th, 2009
He's leaving virgin territory...
Over the past months, I've seen countless insulting and humorless teen flicks I almost couldn't sit through, but Sean Anders' coming-of-age sex comedy Sex Drive is a little different: it's actually quite amusing. I know it may be hard to believe, but this silly yet thoroughly entertaining roadtrip movie is not a waste of time. Let's go for a ride and see what it's all about.
Josh Zuckerman stars as Ian, an 18-year-old virgin who has no clue how to talk to girls, let alone flirt with them. Desperate to hook up with a chick, Ian turns his attention to the Web, where he soon meets "Miss Tasty," a hottie who promises she'll do anything to him if he pays her visit in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Together with his best pals Lance (Clark Duke, Kick-Ass) and Felicia (Amanda Crew, Final Destination 3, Ian steals his brother's beloved 1969 GTO and embarks on a life-changing adventure full of unexpected surprises and embarrassing twists.
Sex Drive is certainly not as stupid and boring as many other recent flicks of the same genre, but that does not necessarily mean the film is a masterpiece. On the contrary, Anders' film struggles with several flaws, including a rather conventional story line and an overall lack of innovation. That said, Anders and co-screenwriter John Morris have still managed to create a thoroughly fast-paced comedy boasting an interesting look and surprisingly acceptable performances.
Even though the movie is filled with vulgar sex jokes and other brainless gags, it avoids the kind of disgusting slapstick and repulsive material that can easily ruin this kind of comedy. Sex Drive is not the cleverest or most hilarious flick, but its fast-paced plot and a series of funny scenes make it an enjoyable romp that races through its 109-minute running time without descending into boredom.
While some of the troubling situations Ian and his friends encounter are not particularly memorable, others are indeed quite funny. Whether they're on the run from an angry hick, landing in jail for messing up a cop's car, or encountering a hilarious Amish mechanic (Seth Green, The Italian Job), Ian and his buddies slip into a number of awkward situations that eventually help them see life from a different perspective.
As I already mentioned, the cast turns in a set of refreshing performances. Zuckerman is actually quite convincing as the shy guy who fails to score with the ladies but gradually discovers what it really takes to seduce a girl. The guy bringing along the most energy is Clark Duke, whose character Lance has no trouble getting laid. Rounding out the trio is the cute Amanda Crew, who shares a passable chemistry with Zuckerman. Also starring is James Marsden, who portrays Ian's aggressive older brother.
Summit's Blu-ray release of Sex Drive boasts strong technical aspects, although I admit I was surprised to find the disc only carries a Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround audio transfer for the main feature instead of high-def transfer. Still, the sound works flawlessly throughout. As far as the video transfer is concerned, we're dealing with a strong 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen presentation for the R-rated version of the film, while the unrated cut features a splendid 1.85:1 presentation.
In terms of special features, this disc offers an excellent filmmakers' commentary, which is really informative and offers viewers a detailed insight into how the film came into being and what challenges Anders and his crew encounters during the making of the movie. It's definitely an entertaining commentary to listen to even if the film does entirely convince you. The bonus material also features an 11-minute behind-the-scenes look and two short pieces on James Marsden and Clark Duke. These short featurettes are not as informative as the commentary, but they rather serve as the perfect way for cast and crew to have some fun and show us viewers how awesome it was to shoot this thing.
This edition of Sex Drive also includes an unrated, extended edition of the film, which runs for about 20 minutes longer than the theatrical cut. Beware though: this is not your traditional extended version. As Anders and Co. point out before the film kicks off, this cut is strictly for the fans. Even though the longer version does include some traditional extra footage, it also features ad libs, outtakes, and additional nudity (generally in the from of random naked women and men just crashing the scenes without any particular purpose). If you haven't seen the movie in theaters, make sure to watch the R-rated cut first. I personally didn't like this extended version much, but diehard fans of Sex Drive may appreciate the additional silliness.
Sex Drive is by no means a fantastic sex comedy, but it's watchable. It pretty much follows many conventions of your average roadtrip flick, but it does include some refreshing moments, a fast plot, and decent enough performances to make for a perfect afternoon or evening diversion with your buddies.
Review content copyright © 2009 Franck Tabouring; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Summit Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround (Spanish)
Running Time: 109 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Unrated
* Official Site