The Package: Original in One =/= Original in All (Spoiler-Free)

SpoilerFree

Hey, so, here’s a bonus post because I can’t not write about this film and I have the buffer filled for the next week and by then it’ll be too late.

SYNOPSIS (SPOILER-FREE)

Five friends go camping together. Unfortunately, one of them, Jeremy (Eduardo Franco), accidentally cuts his penis off. He’s evacuated, but they send the wrong cooler with him, so his friends, Sean and Donnie (Daniel Doheny and Luke Spencer Roberts), along with Jeremy’s sister, Becky, and her friend Sarah (Geraldine Viswanathan and Sadie Calvano), have to trek through the woods and endure a series of wacky hi-jinks trying to get his severed member back to him.

ThePackage-2Jeremy.jpg
Jeremy did not speak in class today. He cried. If you didn’t get this joke, ask your parents.

END SYNOPSIS

“Hi-jinks ensue” has been the basis for comedy films for a long time. Have a crazy set-up, use it to create a sense of urgency that explains why the characters might act abnormally, see the film play out. Here’s the problem: Just having a different crazy set-up doesn’t make it a different movie. I mean, yes, a lot of the jokes are based around the fact that it’s a severed penis as opposed to, say, a severed foot, but the jokes aren’t all that great. They’re just dirtier, not cleverer. Now, yes, you get points for originality because, technically, having to think about sucking venom out of an unattached penis is different than the normal comedy situation of doing it to your buddy, but not enough to try and get 15 minutes out of the joke that we’ve all seen a hundred times.

ThePackage-1Cast.jpg
Yep, there’s a dick on the ground.

The other thing is that, honestly, the pacing of the film is weird, since they clearly ran out of some of the nature jokes early on and therefore had to figure out how to add another 30 minutes in other locations and situations that are largely too contrived for a movie that otherwise tries to be fairly realistic for a farce. Hell, there’s one scene that’s probably fifteen minutes long that literally amounts to nothing and just isn’t that funny. When I was watching it all I could think was “so… you just wanted to make a Lorena Bobbitt joke.” Except that the target audience for this movie is clearly teens, so I don’t think they’d get the reference.

ThePackage-3Bra.png
Your main characters are confused by bras in a movie featuring a lot of penis. Mature.

If I was going to say the bright side of the movie it’s that the actors are all pretty charming. Especially for a streaming film that is clearly designed to be a teenage gross-out comedy. All of them sell the fact that they’re dealing with a lot of stress and also still trying to keep their sanity and focus despite how ridiculous the situation gets. The problem is that the things they’re doing just aren’t great enough to really merit the quality of performance they’re giving. I’d expect all of them to have pretty good careers ahead, although you can see Doheny right now in the film Alex Strangelove in which he gives another amazing performance in a more well-crafted movie about a young man coming to terms with his sexuality.

Overall, I wrote this to tell you that this is the kind of film that you should only watch if you really liked the American Pie spin-off movies. Or if you’re drunk. Or if you just really want to see a lot of severed penises, but don’t want to watch Teeth.

ThePackage-4Teeth
Every man is uncomfortable during this movie. 

If you want to check out some more by the Joker on the Sofa, check out the 100 Greatest TV Episodes of All Time or the Joker on the Sofa Reviews

If you enjoy these, please, like, share, tell your friends, like the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/JokerOnTheSofa/), follow on Twitter @JokerOnTheSofa, and just generally give me a little bump. I’m not getting paid, but I like to get feedback.

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