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The Real Cancun (2003)

  Directed by: Rick de Oliveira
Links: The Real Cancun on the IMDb, Official site, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD, Buy the Soundtrack
Genre: Documentary

This movie gets: 2.50 (2 ratings) Ranking: Ranked equal 184th of 187 movies (2 ratings minimum; see full chart)

The Real Cancun (2003) is also mentioned in mino's review of The Big Hit (1998).

"Real T'n'A" - a review by pearly

Ahhh, the first ever reality movie. How proud they must have been to have the dubious honour of subtitling their movie with this tag. The theory behind The Real Cancun is to pay for 16 "young adults" to go to Cancun for their spring break, ply them with alcohol, record the whole thing, and then edit it down to just the bits that involve one or more of the following: tits, arse, fighting, swearing, improper use of alcohol, sexual relations.

I am fond of reality television. I enjoy, without trying to sound wanky, the psychology of the real interactions that you can see; figuring out who likes who, and why such-and-such hates someoneorotherelse's guts. Us humans are way more unpredictable and interesting in real life than most movies could hope to capture via a traditional script. So, the idea of a reality movie appeals to me.

Unfortunately, with The Real Cancun, the producers picked a bunch of people who have barely ever had a coherent thought between them, and are therefore very uninteresting to watch, unless you wish to know what their breasts look like, or how many beers they can skull in how short a time period. Which, I'm sure, plenty of people do want to know. It gets kinda boring after about ten minutes though.

The Real Cancun suffers from something that many reality television series also suffer from - you cannot possibly get to know and become interested in the "characters" in a one and a half hour time period, especially if there are 16 people that you have to get to know. A television series like Survivor starts off slowly, and it is only after you have invested a little time in it that there are rewards, because you've then gotten to know and love or hate the people who are left. With The Real Cancun, you're still in the "so, who's that guy again?" phase when the movie finishes - there's simply not enough time to get to know the 16 people.

The best way to fix this would be to get rid of ten of the more boring of the folk, and just have 6 kick-arse people to follow around. What the hey, include the twins as one person and I'll even let them have 7. Let's face it, it would be pretty clear which ones to get rid of.

However, even with these suggested modifications, it still didn't have enough going on to hold your interest for the length of a whole movie. Better luck next time, fellas.

pearly gives this movie 3 out of 10.
Review created on Fri 13 Feb 2004

"The Young and The Witless" - a review by mino

There are those who argue that the whole ‘reality TV’ genre is pathetic. It's for losers who want to watch other losers doing absolutely nothing, while keeping perfectly good actors out of work. It's vacuous, and it rots the brain. It's nothing more than a cheap, voyeuristic thrill for lowlifes.

Yes, there are those who make that argument. Unfortunately for them, this reviewer isn't among them. I love nothing more than a good bit of reality TV — Survivor and The Amazing Race, in particular, and I'm not averse to Big Brother at all — because, well, hey: why are actors so special anyway? What are they, an endangered species that needs our protection? If they're so entertaining, let them fend for themselves.

Anyway, there's another, more specific argument that these people can make: that The Real Cancun, billed as ‘the world's first Reality Movie’ (am I the only one who remembers that they used to be called documentaries?) is a pathetic, halfwitted excuse to show some semi-naked (and, occasionally, fully-naked) flesh, and a lot of people getting drunk off their heads, which would appeal only to the most blithering of blithering idiots.

That argument, I'm fine with.

Because it is.

The Real Cancun takes sixteen people, sends them on ‘Spring Break’ to Cancun, Mexico, supplies them with endless fountains of tequila, and waits for them to have sex. And that's pretty much it.

The charm of a good reality TV series is that interesting people are put in interesting situations, and you can see how they react. Alas, The Real Cancun has no such charm. In fact, it has no charm of any kind.

The sixteen people presented here are, with perhaps two or three exceptions, the most braindead bunch of buffoons I've ever encountered. Unfortunately, they're not even the interesting type of braindead buffoons: they're just the regular dull kind.

Perhaps the only possible intellectual stimulation to be obtained is to keep a scorecard and work out whether the young men in The Real Cancun are more or less of a disgrace to young men everywhere than the women are to women everywhere. As far as I can tell, it's about even.

While there is plenty of sexual politics going on, which every now and then threatens to get vaguely interesting, it… well, it doesn't. The one semi-interesting thing to see is to watch Alan, the shy young thing who has never let a drop of alcohol past his lips, turn into a wild party animal. However, like all the other semi-interesting bits, everything just seems so contrived and ham-fisted that it's patently obvious how set-up the whole thing is. Sure, other reality TV is set up too: but the crew of Survivor, say, devote a great deal of time and effort to making it look natural, so you don't even care. Anyway, not that it matters: all the makers of The Real Cancun care about is giving enough titillation to keep the viewers' interest.

Unfortunately, they fail there too. If you want titillation, there's some to be had: but honestly, if you're at the video shop looking for some cheap thrills, and The Real Cancun is the best video you can find to amuse yourself, you maybe oughta try either upping your arousal thresholds a little, or finding yourself another video shop.

mino gives this movie 2 out of 10.
Review created on Tue 20 Jan 2004

Movie review statistics

Number of reviews: 2
Average rating: 2.50
Lowest rating: 2 (by mino)
Highest rating: 3 (by pearly)
Rating Percentage

Reader comments

  1. this was the greatest movie ever. it just shows everybody that people can still party and not bother to care what others think about them having fun. finally a bunch of kids went out there and did what they wanted to do. who cares what people think about them? bottom line is they probably had one of the best spring breaks ever and it's something none of them will ever forget. wow. i don't even know what to say, this movie was awesome. it's reality, what more could you want??

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from Insane!! on Thu 10 Mar 2005 08:41 #

  2. "finally a bunch of kids went out there and did what they wanted to do"

    Doesn't that sort of thing happen like... all the time all over the world?

    A comment from nofreelist's own andy-j on Fri 23 Dec 2005 23:52 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 10.00 (1 rating)

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