Review: Tucker & Dale vs. Evil

Director(s)Eli Craig
Principal CastAlan Tudyk as Tucker
Tyler Labine as Dale
Katrina Bowden as Allison
Jesse Moss as Chad
Release Date2010
Language(s)English
Running Time 89 minutes

You wouldn’t expect it from the title, but Tucker and Dale vs. Evil is a heartwarming, hilarious, bloody good time of a movie. It follows a group of college aged kids who go to a forest to camp out. They run into a pair of hillbillies, Tucker and Dale, who they immediately typecast as murderous degenerates. As the misunderstanding between the two groups rises, blood starts flowing, and utter chaos ensues.

The story is crisp and to the point. No joke ever feels like it overstays its welcome and the creativity in execution and sense of comedic timing is immaculate. There are dark comedic moments that’ll have you laughing and looking away from the screen, but there are also genuinely funny moments that you’d see in a more lighthearted comedy. Somehow, the movie manages to combine both of them seamlessly leading to a unique comedic feel. The movie is narratively sound as well. The ending has a lot of interesting twists that are both hilarious but give the movie more of a thematic bite. It’s immensely satisfying to watch everything play out. The movie knows exactly what it wants to be and how to get there.

Despite all the absurdity on the screen, the movie boils down a story about misunderstanding and projection. The way that it explores that via the characters and their actions and subsequent revelations is a constant reminder to not fall prey to faulty first impressions. This including perceptions of oneself. Often times, the person who stops us from achieving our potential , is our insecurities. The movie is just as much about the way we count ourselves out, as it is about how we turn others into caricatures based on certain attributes. It might not be the most nuanced message, but it’s conveyed with such a deft hand that you can’t help but appreciate it. Plus, it’s not like the message is bad or anything. The world could do with people judging others less.

None of this is to say the movie is perfect. Despite doing a great job with its leads and the leader of the college kid, Chad, the rest of the characters fall to the wayside. They exist for the sake of the plot and feel like joke extensions. The setup for some of the kills also pushes the limits of believable. Yes, it’s a comedy movie and is supposed to be over the top, but there’s a threshold to how dumb a character can be.

Report Card

TLDRTucker & Dale vs. Evil is comedy about the pitfalls of misunderstanding and making improper assumptions. The movie is hilarious and proceeds at a brisk pace with twists and turns that should keep you entertained from start to finish. Some of the characters and their decisions feel a bit over the top, but you’ll hardly notice it as you’re laughing at the absurdity of it all.
Rating9.1/10
Grade A

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