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All the Real Bros

Prince Avalanche (2013)

Scott Gardner/2013 Sundance Film Festival

David Gordon Green’s recent mainstream oeuvre has resulted in one hit (“Pineapple Express”) and two duds (“Your Highness” and “The Sitter”), in both the commercial and the critical senses. So a return to his indie roots would appear to be a welcome development for a director who initially carved his reputation out of the Malick-esque “George Washington.” But upon closer examination his latest, “Prince Avalanche,” is not unlike a bromance straight out of the Apatow clique that Mr. Green has ingratiated himself with via collaborations with Seth Rogen and Jonah Hill. But then you discover “Prince Avalanche” is actually just a remake of the 2011 Icelandic film “Either Way” by Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurðsson, and you wonder if Mr. Green could sink any further.

Paul Rudd is typecast as Alvin, a middle-management loser type whose job consists of painting yellow strips on remote mountainsides and requires him to camp out each night. The job is apparently a perfect fit since he thrives on the manly solitude the wilderness offers — think those Dr. Pepper 10 commercials. He dutifully writes his girlfriend, sends his pay her way and even offers a job to her dimwitted sex-addict brother, Lance (Emile Hirsch, who is also typecast).

For those who’ve come for the juvenile humor, the film has very little to offer. Unfortunately, there is nothing particularly moving or substantive, either. There appears to be deeper psychological trauma behind Alvin’s idiosyncrasies. But the film barely skims the surface, telegraphing it via a stagy performance in which Mr. Rudd mimes daily routines in the remnants of a burned-down house presumably owned by Alvin. The odd couple ends up in a climactic wresting match in typical bromance fashion, but with no real emotional payoff in the end.


Opens on Aug. 9 in the United States and on Oct. 18 in Britain.

Written and directed by David Gordon Green, based on the film “Either Way,” by Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson; director of photography, Tim Orr; edited by Colin Patton; music by Explosions in the Sky and David Wingo; production design by Richard A. Wright; costumes by Jill Newell; produced by Lisa Muskat, Derrick Tseng, Craig Zobel, James Belfer and Mr. Green; released by Magnolia Pictures (United States) and Metrodome Distribution (Britain). Running time: 1 hour 34 minutes. This film is rated R by M.P.A.A. and 15 by B.B.F.C.

WITH: Paul Rudd (Alvin), Emile Hirsch (Lance), Lance Legault (Toodie), Joyce Payne (Lady) and Gina Grande (Madison).


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