I'm unsure what is more worrying, that Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau starred in such a mediocre comedy or the fact that they wrote it. Good friends and regular collaborators Vaughn and Favreau have had mixed results in their working partnership: Swingers is a bona-fide cult classic which tore up the indie circuit back in 1996; Made was a disappointment to all those expecting Swingers 2; The Break-Up was a successful guilty pleasure and Four Holidays (Four Christmases in the US) flopped massively at the US box-office. Where does Retreat fit in? Somewhere near Four Holidays – but at least they didn't also write that.
The target audience was obviously never decided upon as the humour seems to cater for everyone. One minute there are mature, real life moments that firmly fit into the "funny because it's true" category, the next there are gags revolving around untimely erections and masturbation that would be right at home in American Pie. Done in the right way and on their own either of these forms of comedy can be brilliant, however mixing them together makes for a muddled experience. There are a few hilarious scenes – the yoga session undoubtedly the most memorable – just nowhere near enough.
Of the cast Vaughn and Akerman come out best, their natural chemistry and adroit comic timing going a long way to keeping the movie afloat. The others don't fare so well. Favreau needs to leave the acting business and focus on writing and directing, it is practically impossible for him to be amusing on screen. Bateman, Bell, Davis and Love all fail to ever get us laughing, whilst the extended cameo from Jean Reno is possibly the worst stuff the experienced Frenchman has ever put on celluloid.
If you are looking for an easy comedy with fabulous locations (and women) then this might do the trick, but I definitely could not recommend spending your had earned cash to see this at the cinema. DVD bargain bins beckon.
2 out of 5 (1 - Rubbish, 2 - Ordinary, 3 - Good, 4 - Excellent, 5 - Classic)