*This* is the movie that became a cult classic and served as the foundation for a new series on Netflix? Weird. There are certainly a lot of talented people in this cast, and the overall tone is so cartoonish and detached from reality that they probably could take it any direction that they'd like in a given episodes, but this is some weak source material to draw from.
Before I gripe about things, let's squeeze in some posititivity! Paul Rudd's "Andy" character is delightfully insufferable, and the drawn-out scene of him begrudgingly picking up a plate that he had just thrown on the ground was easily the highlight of the movie. Janeane Garofalo, playing the camp's head counselor, also threw herself into this material in an admirable way, particularly in a scene where she needlessly dismantled the interior of a building while searching for a phone. Oh, and H. Jon Benjamin briefly shows up to provide the voice for a talking can of vegetables, which is an incredible idea that won me over instantly.
Even with these and a few other highlights, however, the movie as a whole felt like a tepid succession of skits that dragged on for far too long. The subplot involving Ken Marino's character trying to get back to camp in order to sleep with someone, for example, could have been cut out entirely. Some ideas that are amusing at first are revisited repeatedly, usually to diminishing returns. And, with such a large ensemble cast, just about everyone is stuck playing a one-note caricature of sorts. In some cases (Paul Rudd), this works out rather well, but for many of the characters, it can get boring fast. The central storyline between Coop and Katie fell flat for me because, in addition to being a somewhat dull take on love triangle tropes, it featured two characters with very thin personalities that I couldn't bother to be invested in.
Comedy that is this scattershot and lacking in any kind of actual story or character development to ground it can absolutely work, but it's hard to stretch it out to the length of a movie. To provide a point of comparison, I love Comedy Bang Bang, another "wacky' comedy that doesn't bother with character development or long-term plotting or other such things. Part of what makes it work is the lean 22 minute runtime of each episode, as it's rare for any random genre parody or tangent to overstay its welcome.
But hey, the new incarnation of this franchise is a television series with relatively bite-sized episodes. Maybe I should just give that a shot instead?