Director: Scot Armstrong
Cast: Adam Pally, T.J. Miller, Thomas Middleditch
Release Date: Now Available on Blu-ray & DVD
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 6/10
Disc Rating: 6.5/10
When the love of his life (Shannon Woodward of Raising Hope) jilts Nadro (Middleditch) at the altar thanks to his hard-partying pals Jason (Miller) and Evan (Pally), he follows her down to Mexico – where he’s carjacked and left naked in the middle of nowhere. Reluctantly summoning his friends to help him get back his runaway bride-to-be, Nadro plunges into an escalating series of outrageous misadventures courtesy of the guys who created the mess in the first place.
‘Search Party’ focuses on best friends Jason (Miller), Evan (Pally) and Nardo (Middleditch), joining the trio just prior to Nardo’s wedding to Tracy (Woodward) which is inevitably ruined by Jason after he mistakenly concludes that Nardo’s drunken pre-wedding jitters are a sign that the wedding isn’t meant to be. Ruined by the result of Jason’s actions, Nardo immediately heads out to Mexico in search of Tracy (who decided to enjoy their honeymoon solo following the horrifying events) in order to explain the situation and hopefully win her back. Unfortunately before he’s able to track her down he finds himself stranded in Mexico without even the clothes on his back. Desperate to help their friend, Jason and Evan head out on an impromptu road trip to rescue their friend and hopefully win back Tracy in the process.
Directed by Scot Armstrong (writer of Road Trip, Old School) from a script he also wrote along with first time writers Mike Gagerman and Andrew Waller, Armstrong does a competent job at the helm of ‘Search Party’ which also marks his directorial debut, guiding the film with a style quite familiar to that of similar raunchy comedies. The film also includes a number of talented comedic actors, many of which are sure to be somewhat recognizable including Adam Pally (TV’s The Mindy Project, Happy Endings), T.J. Miller (Deadpool, TV’s Silicon Valley), Thomas Middleditch (The Final Girls, TV’s Silicon Valley), Shannon Woodward (TV’s Raising Hope), Alison Brie (TV’s Community), Lance Reddick (TV’s Bosch & Fringe), and a number more, nearly all of whom deliver solid and fitting performances in each of their respective roles.
Filmed a couple of years back and released in at least a few foreign territories as far back as 2014, ‘Search Party’ finally makes its way to Blu-ray and DVD in the states for those (such as me) who have been interested in the flick for some time now. ‘Search Party’ is a fun little raunchy comedy that also serves as a road trip movie in its own way and employs at least a few hints of previous films Armstrong was involved with writing and as a result comes together as an entertaining, humorous and relatively well made film, but it also fails to provide anything new or exceptional and finds itself largely another fairly unmemorable comedy, albeit by no means a bad one. It certainly has some talented comedic stars (the majority of which I’m personally quite fond of from their various film and television roles) and delivers a healthy quantity of laughs with Scot Armstrong doing a solid job at the helm of his first directorial outing. Granted it’s by no means a monumental break out comedy that changes the game, ‘Search Party’ is nonetheless an entertaining and amusing road trip/buddy flick that fans of the genre will likely want to check out at some point when the opportunity presents itself.
Overall, ‘Search Party’ doesn’t contribute anything notable or exceptional to the genre and while largely your typical raunchy comedy in nearly every way, still manages to deliver a fun and often hilarious little ride that should serve as a perfect selection for a random evening viewing where you simply want to tune out and enjoy some brainless fun. Fans of the lead actors and the raunchy comedy films so common these days will probably want to give it a shot when they have the opportunity to do so and should find themselves thoroughly entertained throughout, although it’s likely not one you need to make a point of getting your hands on immediately.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Search Party’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks pretty great as a whole, providing a consistently sharp and detailed presentation with no notable faults of any sort to be found within. It holds up admirably even during the darkly lit and/or fast moving sequences and never resulting in anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected, let alone rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is another solid high definition video presentation from Universal that should easily please the masses.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack delivers a crisp, clean and often fairly aggressive audio presentation from start to finish. Utilizing all five available channels quite frequently in order to send bullets, vehicle activity and more throughout the various speakers, in addition to common ambience including crowd activity, while never causing any dialogue which may be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible. Overall, this is a strong 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that delivers in every way required of it and certainly contributes some additional fun to the overall viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Search Party’ does not include any supplemental material.