Review: Prince Avalanche (2013)

prince avalanche poster

“So when you say something negative and insult the other person… You’re really just showing that other person what an unsure-of-yourself-type person that you really feel like you are.”
– Lance

SYNOPSIS: Two highway road workers spend the summer of 1988 away from their city lives. The isolated landscape becomes a place of misadventure as the men find themselves at odds with each other and the women they left behind.  – via IMDB

I found this film to be incredibly long and incredibly tedious. I think there were a royal five minutes that managed to generate a smile from me. I felt like my time was wasted. I didn’t enjoy the story much at all, which was a pity seeing as the actors weren’t bad and I really wanted to like it. The only thing that carried the story the little bit that it went was Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch. I really, really didn’t like Lance’s character – he was a real tool and annoyance and superbly rude. His nice moments were few and far between, though Emile Hirsch was very well cast to carry him out. Paul Rudd’s portrayal of Alvin was actually really good as it goes out of his regular comfort zone, and he does it incredibly well.  The settings were slow, the pace was non-existent, the story was weak and it was boring for me in so many places. There, I said it. I know some people praised it for being an alright comedy drama, but there was nothing that I was enamoured with (except maybe chasing someone with a wrench and throwing things at them). It almost felt like it was trying to go in a Napoleon Dynamite kind of way but missing the bus. I also really didn’t like the jittery camera work for this movie at the best of times though I really liked the sets they were working in. The conclusion was also incredibly sudden for me, and didn’t really explain much or wrap it up. I suppose there really are worse movies to watch in your precious free time, but after the many positive reviews I read about this I was not impressed.

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25 thoughts on “Review: Prince Avalanche (2013)

  1. CMrok93 says:

    Nice review Zoe. Rudd and Hirsch work very well together, even when what they have to do is not like the other. Even then though, you can just tell that they want to be buddies.

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  2. Mark Walker says:

    Sorry to hear that this didn’t work for you Zoe but I’m not surprised either. It’s certainly not for everyone. I just reviewed this myself the other day and I have it 7/10. I found it to be quite a meditative little film anchored by two gret leads (especially Rudd).

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  3. jjames36 says:

    I agree on many of your points. I too think the end was too sudden, and that Lance, at times, was a bit too stupid to be believed. (As one trite example, when he said labortion, I laughed out loud, not because it was funny, but because it was so stupid as to pull me out of a key moment in the film. In the ’80s, abortion was a hotter political issue than it is today, because the Supreme Court had only legalized it a decade earlier. Many were still hoping to find some way of undoing their decision. That a character wouldn’t know how to say the word strikes me as so prepreposterous it was instantly ineffective.)

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  4. Tom says:

    Hmm….I’ve definitely heard many mixed things about this one. It sounds very limited and, like you said, tedious. I might still give it a go, I love Paul Rudd in virtually everything he does (well, okay. . .Wanderlust started to push it a bit 😛 ) and Emile Hirsche seems an interesting pairing with Rudd. But I consider myself fairly warned! Good review Zoe

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    • Zoë says:

      Thanks Tom. Well, check it out. You may very well like it more than I did. I have yet to see Wanderlust actually, but will look into it, Rudd is good. Hirsch and Rudd work well together.

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