The film that shot Vaughn and Wilson further into the world of comedy stardom, Wedding Crashers was the “it” comedy for much of 2005 (and for a small time, it dominated the video market well into 2006). With a fairly unique plot to back up the comedy, Wedding Crashers had everyone who saw it in fits of laughter and the $40 million production went on to rake in over $200 million at the box office…domestically. Without a doubt Wedding Crashers is one of the most successful comedies of all time (let alone an R rated one) and the much lauded film finally saw a Blu-ray release in late December.
Champagne, bacon-wrapped scallops and sex – all with no strings attached. What more could two bachelor booty-chasers ask for? That’s why John (Wilson) and Jeremy (Vaughn) show up uninvited at weddings, drafting off the romantic currents and getting lucky. What a perfect setup – until John falls for a gorgeous sister of the bride and starts thinking shoes and rice and honeymoon suites. He’s off to meet the folks…with best-buddy Jeremy in tow. Uh-oh. Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn are the Wedding Crashers of the rib-busting smash hit that’s a comedy touchstone for the new millennium. Rachel McAdams, Isla Fisher and Christopher Walken also star.
While not a film I’d seen in theaters, Wedding Crashers was one I was eager to get my hands on when it arrived on DVD and boy…I wasn’t disappointed with this one. Although it wasn’t the laugh-a-minute riot that I was promised by those around me who had seen it, I still found myself with tears in my eyes at times. Whether it be from the absolutely raunchy dialogue or visuals that made your jaw drop (who knew Dr. Quinn would be so forward?), Wedding Crashers really sustained for the entire duration of it (running just a minute shine of two hours in theaters and seven minutes over two in the unrated DVD edition).
Although it has a meaty run time, the ability to talk about the film for more than a few paragraphs is proving futile. The film’s plot is relatively simple and, along with 40 Year Old Virgin, Wedding Crashers really helped usher in a new era of raunch-R comedies (even though I’ve seen it three or four times now, the constant vomiting by McAdam’s boyfriend in this film still makes me a bit queasy) that, while simultaneously filled with a romantic side-plot are more geared toward the male audience than the female. Of course that’s in large part due to the all-male lead cast, but still.
Speaking of cast, I can’t really wrap up this review without mentioning some stand out’s here. This was the first big role I’d seen Isla Fisher in and after this she became one of my favorite comedic actresses, simply because of how incredibly crazy she acted in this film…although I’ve not seen her act as kooky since (her role in Hot Rod was relatively tame in comparison). Vaughn once again delivered his usual rapid-fire comedic performance and Christopher Walken is his usual entertaining self, while Owen Wilson played a great contrast to Vaughn’s in-your-face comedic approach. Will Ferrell’s cameo (in the uncut version) is a bit out of place if only because whenever Ferrell shows up on the screen the scene immediately dovetails into a juvenile scream fest (and this is coming from me, probably one of the biggest fans of Ancorhman).
Overall Wedding Crashers holds up well nearly four years after its original theatrical release for one reason: simply put, it’s a funny movie. None of the jokes are necessarily dated for made for the era they were written in, which will help the film entertain audiences for years to come. While it’s by far the greatest comedy ever made, it is up there—as its box office intake can attest. Highly Recommended.
Warner Home Video released this Blu-ray back in December in a single-disc release that contained both versions of the film. Included is a standard Elite case as well as the usual firmware upgrade notice and disc art that is actually different from the cover art. There is a menu to choose between the uncut or theatrical version to start off with, so unlike most Warner titles it doesn’t auto start.
Moving onto the video we have a VC-1 encoded 2.40:1 1080p transfer that is…well, kind of underwhelming. There are plenty of nice HD moments, but a lot of backgrounds lack depth, which is incredibly disappointing considering the majority of the film takes place in a beautiful house on the coast. I was hoping the transfer would astonish in every way, as I often find comedies the weakest to upgrade to since you really don’t watch these films for the visual clarity. Sadly that’s the case with this transfer, as although it does look nice overall, it really doesn’t offer anything an upscaled DVD couldn’t.
The audio is a similar issue, as the Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix (yes, Virginia, Warner actually tossed TrueHD on a Blu-ray re-release…and on a comedy no less) is really wasted here (well, so much for the excitement over TrueHD. That lasted about two seconds, eh?). The film doesn’t separate channels much and instead focuses everything almost entirely on the front channel. This also isn’t a subwoofer intense film either except for the football tackles in the film (which, as I recall, scared the bejesus out of me when I first watched this film as I don’t think my subwoofer was on the entire film and then it suddenly emits this huge THUD).
There’s nothing new in the extras department either, but what we do get is relatively entertaining. First up is a pair of Commentaries. The first includes Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn (entertaining but pitted with bouts of silence) on the unrated edition and a second with director David Dobkin (funny and informative) on the theatrical cut. Next up are eight minutes of Additional Scenes, a pair of throwaway featurettes (Event Planning and The Rules of Wedding Crashing), a quick Music Video by The Sights and some Theatrical Trailers wrap up the extras here. Nothing in-depth or filled with actor interviews, but the commentaries make up for the lack of in-depth featurettes. Although how there is no blooper reel for this film I have not a freakin’ clue.
Overall if you own the previous “Uncorked” DVD edition, then just stick with that. This Blu-ray offers only minimal upgrades in the video and audio department, which is the real shame since that’s kind of the whole reason for it to exist on the Blu-ray format.
Previous DVD owners: Skip It.
Newcomers: Recommended (if you want to spend the cash; the DVD editions probably dirt cheap by now).
Wedding Crashers is now available on Blu-ray.