Three 15-year-old boys abandon their homes in suburban Ohio, build their own house in the woods, and live as pseudo-savages for a summer. As a portrait of early adolescence, this arty youth picture is relaxed and impressively unsensational (there are no shocking discoveries of sex or death), but the humor, rooted in non-sequitur one-liners, reflects a shallow sitcom mentality. Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts cut his teeth on network cable series and Internet comedy shorts, and it shows. Instead of developing a genuine perspective he simply repeats the same few stylistic gestures (slow-motion montage, delicate nature imagery, elliptical sound cues) ad infinitum, as if he were making a Funny or Die parody of a Terence Malick film.
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