Movie Review: Canadians stumble into mayhem on a “Camping Trip”

My stars, those Fuica brothers love their slo-mo. And 360 degree pans.

And illogical plotting. And really bad dialogue.

“Is…he dead?” “What does it LOOK like, genius?”

And they’re learning to love self-distributing their handiwork. Apparently.

“Camping Trip” is a bloody-minded and hilariously-illogical thriller about two swinger couples — those darned Canadians, always having more fun than the rest of us — who stumble across a pile of (Canadian) cash while on a COVID camping trip in some remote camping/canoeing friendly park.

Boisterous, impulsive Ace (Alex Gravenstein) and French (or something) accented Coco (Hannah Forest Briand) are hooking up — mid-lockdown — with partying suburbanites Polly (Caitlin Cameron), she of the Aussie (I think) accent, and Enzo, played by writer and co-director Leonardo Fuica, a Chilean-Canadian trying to sound Italian.

Once in the woods, they paddle, practice archery and “swing” until they stumble across a body, because some vaccine researcher (Ben Pelletier) has chosen these woods as the perfect place to make a buy from a couple of thugs (Jonathan Vanderzon and Michael D’Amico).

That meeting place is as illogical as the thugs killing the “doc” without getting paid, as illogical as the cover story burly Orek (D’Amico) feeds the once-happy campers about “staying the night” with them, as absurd and ugly as everything that happens next.

The Fuicas have been making movies for years (“La Run” wasn’t their first, and it came out in 2011) and yet much of what we see here has a new-to-film-school “Play with jump-cut montages and dissolve montages, let’s-see-if-we-can-stage-a-360-degree-pan and how MUCH slo-mo is too much?” naivete.

It’s all as “off” as the Fire Island hairdresser haircut “swinger” Enzo rocks and the weird, seemingly put-on accents of almost everybody.

This “Camping Trip” is the oddest blend of “Look what we’ve learned now” showing off and rank filmmaking incompetence I’ve seen in ages.

Rating: unrated, graphic violence, sex, nudity

Cast: Leonardo Fuica, Caitlin Cameron, Alex Gravenstein, Hannah Forest Briand, Ben Pelletier, Jonathan Vanderzon and Michael D’Amico.

Credits: Directed by Demian Fuica and Leonardo Fuica, scripted by Leonardo Fuica. A Fuica Films release.

Running time: 1:46

About Roger Moore

Movie Critic, formerly with McClatchy-Tribune News Service, Orlando Sentinel, published in Spin Magazine, The World and now published here, Orlando Magazine, Autoweek Magazine
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