Sometimes you find yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Sometimes things happen around you that you have no control over. That just may be what you call Life, I don’t know. But if you are Tucker or Dale, you may want to become a recluse, because the things that happen around you, through misunderstanding and through demented and cruel twists of fate, are just plain bad and offer up a world of pain. And death. And dismemberment.
Tucker and Dale are two good ol’ boys heading to the woods. Tucker (Alan Tudyk) has just purchased a cabin, what he declares his vacation home. He brings along his best friend, Dale (Tyler Labine), to help do some repairs and cleaning on the rundown little place. Also going camping that weekend near toTucker and Dale are a group of college kids. The kids sit around the campfire and tell the story of the Memorial Day Massacre; it amounts to a hillbilly going crazy on some campers. The college kids then go for a late night swim. Tucker and Dale, who could be called hillbillies, are doing some night fishing. Allison, one of the girls from the college campers, sees the two fishing and thinks they are spying on them. She slips into the water and hits her head. Tucker and Dale fish her out of the water and into the their boat, saving her life. The other young campers see them and think they are kidnapping her and run screaming.
Okay. What follows is Tucker and Dale just trying to relax and do some work. Allison, upon waking, learns what happened and becomes friends with them, and helps them around their vacation home. Allison’s friends, though, think she was abducted, has Stockholm Syndrome, and try to rescue her. All their attempts at rescue go horribly awry. How horrible? They keep getting themselves accidentally killed. Tucker and Dale have no idea why these kids keep killing themselves on Tucker’s property; they can only figure it some kind of crazy mass suicide pact, and it is majorly freaking them out.
Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil has some truly great moments, but it is never really as funny as it should be. It is chuckle inducing, but doesn’t have the belly laughs. The college kids get themselves killed in some truly outlandish, and ingenious, ways, and Tudyk and Labine are good comedy team. I’d like to see them together again, either in a Tucker and Dale sequel, or something else. Their charm, chemistry, and timing are what really make this film as successful as it is. I felt the movie went on for too long, mainly because there are so many damn college kids to kill off. The entire Memorial Day Massacre subplot wasn’t really needed. In fact, I think they should have cut the Massacre thread and saved it for part two.
All in all, it’s above average. Definitely a lot better than Chillerama. Gore for gore’s sake isn’t funny; someone tripping and going head first into a wood chipper ain’t exactly comedy. That’s were it relies on Tudyk and Labine, they make it digestible. Plus, Tucker and Dale has a big heart, believe it or not, that helps to overlook their faults.
3.5 out of 5