Published Apr 17, 2014Ricky, Julian and Bubbles are back with their latest big screen escapade, which finds Canada threatening to legalize marijuana, alarming pot-grower Ricky (Robb Wells) so much that he journeys to Parliament Hill to protest. He even carries big bags of homegrown to prove his point.
Meanwhile, the enterprising Julian (John Paul Tremblay) is harvesting drug-free urine, stolen from the men's latrine of the local army base, and re-selling to dopeheads whose jobs depend on them passing urine tests. Hounding both of them is their nemesis from the TV series, former trailer park cop-turned-lush, Jim Lahey (John Dunsworth) and his hairy, shirtless lover, Randy (Patrick Roach), who follow the trio from Nova Scotia to Montreal and Ottawa.
There are some laughs throughout the film, and the premise of legalizing weed to threaten the boys' livelihoods is promising. Ricky does make a valid point that criminalizing weed is dumb compared to the destruction that legal drugs like alcohol and tobacco wreak, but that message gets blurred in a haze of slapstick confrontations between the boys and Lahey, and some uninteresting detours on the road to Montreal. It takes a long, long time for Ricky to reach the Hill.
The Trailer Park Boys series looked goofy and vulgar on the surface, but if you watched closely, you'd catch some clever touches, like Bubbles quoting Shakespeare, or heartfelt moments like Lucy (Lucy Decoutere) demanding Ricky to grow up and stop his scheming. Those elements are missing from Don't Legalize It.
The movie feels like an early draft that needs additional work. Several scenes need the conflict milked further to deepen the jokes, instead of relying on slapstick to carry them.
Lahey's character is particularly tired. Yeah, we know he's a boozer, but he falls on his ass and guzzles liquor so many times it's boring. In this film, Lahey becomes a cokehead, perhaps an attempt at character development. The problem is, it's hard to crack jokes about snorting coke while driving — or doing anything else for that matter.
The Trailer Park Boys remain likable and fun, but their latest film feels uninspired. Don't Legalize It is a less potent batch than before and delivers only a mild buzz.