RV had good potential, but even Robin Williams’ presence fails to turn this retread into anything more than a forgettable evening’s rental. Everything about this story of a man dragging his family on a road trip in a rented recreational vehicle—from the overly enthusiastic but bumbling dad, to the resentful kids and the family bond forged on four wheels—was done better in National Lampoon’s Vacation. That doesn’t mean RV is devoid of laughs. There are enough chuckles to keep nondiscriminating viewers reasonably entertained, and the overly long waste-disposal sequence should evoke gales of laughter from the kids. But you’ll be left with a “been there, done that” feeling.
The image presented in this 2.40:1 anamorphic transfer is a mixed bag. Director Barry Sonnenfeld chose to oversaturate the colors, even inserting unrealistically blue CG skies, but the result is a distractingly bright picture with mostly unnatural fleshtones. Audio fares a bit better, with a Dolby Digital 5.1 track that does what it should without being particularly showy.
Sonnenfeld notes the error of his CG ways in his audio commentary, which is pretty funny at times and employs a John Madden–style telestrator to help the director make his points—it’s a nice touch. The commentary is joined by some studio puffery passing as featurettes, storyboard comparisons (what’s this, Titanic?), a gag reel, and an alternate scene—all about as forgettable as the movie itself. Williams deserved better.