2012 / Director. Todd Rohal.
Ten minutes into NATURE CALLS and my girlfriend turns to me and says "this is shit". A little premature, I thought, and I told her to give it a bit longer. Our comedic sensibilities are a lot different but for argument sake, lets say she was right. NATURE CALLS was very underwhelming. I've always had a strong penchant for wilderness movies and the poster art and synopsis for this one conjured memories of THE WRONG GUYS, MEATBALLS and THE GREAT OUTDOORS... heck there was even a suggestion of FOLLOW ME, BOYS. It tells the story of a Scout leader who struggles to keep his troupe of kids interested in the great outdoors. They would rather play video games and reap the spoils of privilege and comfort. When the kids all abandon a weekend camping trip in favour of a funk-food fuelled sleepover with plasma tvs and reclining sofas the Scout leader stages a kidnapping and drags them into the deep woods to teach them about the splendors of nature. Add a lynch mob of angry parents and a BB-gun-toting security guard and you get a stupid, convoluted and chaotic movie. It's also a confused movie. It really doesn't know what it wants to be. It presents itself as a family film with a cast mostly comprised of pre-teen kids and yet the whole thing is riddled with course language, vulgarity, nudity and thinly veiled racism. The adults talk to the kids uncensored and even expose them to pornography and as much as I love most of the above, I found it slightly uncomfortable. There's even a 10 year old kid who tries to seduce a mother throughout the course of the movie, at which point the mum says "you're a fucking weird kid". It did get a few big laughs out of me and I reckon if I had watched NATURE CALLS with friends (and booze) then I might have got more from it but ultimately it's a perplexing and misguided attempt at a genre that's been done so much better by many others before it. MEATBALLS never fails so go watch that instead.