When I saw trailers for Adventureland last year I was interested as soon as I saw that it was filmed at Kennywood. The amusement park in the movie is referred to by the fictional name “Adventureland”, but long shots with Phantom’s Revenge looming in the background are dead giveaways. I got my wife to buy in when I told her that her favorite actor Ryan Reynolds was in it. It looked like a quirky coming of age comedy about a memorable summer working at an amusement park in the 80’s. Unfortunately, it wasn’t funny and I didn’t care about the characters at all.

It was a waste of 90 minutes that dragged on and on as a 20-something love story that took place at an amusement park and the surrounding Pittsburgh area. Most of the scenes focused on the games area where the main characters worked. I haven’t been to Kennywood in years so I’m not sure if those are real parts of the park or if they were built for the movie. There are quick glimpses of the park’s classic woodies like Thunderbolt, Racer,  and Jack Rabbit. But sadly, they were all quick shots and no scenes took place on any roller coasters or even in any stations.

I would have been okay with the lack of coaster appearances if the movie were any good. I wouldn’t reccommend Adventureland for coaster enthusiasts or even just for anyone interested in a good movie. I don’t know how it recieved an 88% fresh on RottenTomatoes. The only redeeming quality was the 80’s music used in some of the scenes. Next up, Wild Adventures in Zombieland!

What’s Your Take?
Have you seen Adventureland? What’d you think? Leave a comment below.

About The Author

Founder of CoasterCritic.com. My favorite coasters are B&M hypers and gigas. I'm also a huge fan of terrain roller coasters.

17 Responses

  1. Prof. BAM

    Movies with theme parks are usually trash. Final Destination 3 took a real coaster, took parts out, threw parts in. Other movies feature coasters in the background. What we need is a movie that has a coaster as its main focus. Anyone agree?

    • Tom

      I agree. I've been wanting a funny movie with roller coasters as a big part of it for years.

    • Vince

      You have to admit though, FD3 was probably one of the best roller coaster movies ever made. Frankly, I love watching it with friends right before we head out to Cedar Point. So fun! And then you ride Corckscrew, and that really gets them going! 🙂

      • The Coaster Critic

        I enjoyed Final Destination 3 (reviewed here almost exactly four years ago!). The ten plus minute roller coaster ride on the roller coaster at the beginning was pretty fun to watch. The movie set out to be a gory horror movie and it delivered. In my opinion, Adventureland didn't deliver the funny or even the romance it was supposed to. Eisenberg's character wasn't funny or endearing. If he would've gotten beat up by those bullies I wouldn't have felt bad for him at all.

    • Quil

      they should make a movie whith a haunted sort of coaster. maybe an old amusemnt park that closed when an accident killed alot of people or something. a couple of kids are dared to go to the park, and they find the coaster. maybe similar to the living haunted house theme.

  2. Anonymous

    I actually really liked this movie. Just because a movie takes place at an amusement park doesn't mean that there should be roller coaster scenes. There's a reason why it got realy good reviews.

    • The Coaster Critic

      You're right, a movie that takes place at an amusement park doesn't have to involve roller coasters. But, I disliked it for other reasons. I just hoped for some coasters to be thrown into the mix.

      • The Coaster Critic

        See comment #4 and my post. I'm not sure if it was the actors or just the characters they were playing, but I didn't like or care about the characters (other than Lisa P.).

  3. Nick TPT

    Apparently I am a very forgiving film critic as I enjoyed both Adventureland and Final Destination 3 (the latter mainly because I have a soft spot for trashy horror movies).

    I'm pretty sure you'll enjoy Zombieland more (as a huge fan of Romero zombie movies I loved it) – it's just good fun entertainment. Without giving the ending away, the Wild Adventures section is a little bit implausible…that can probably be forgiven though in a film about zombies taking over the world.

  4. Judy P in Pgh

    Ah, memories of the hairstyles and clothing of the early 80's. Probably frightening for you younger folks, but totally accurate. The only inaccuracy was that in the movie, park employees got to wear t-shirts instead of these lovely uniforms:

    major rides: red, white and blue striped polyester shirts (button down) and itchy blue polyester shorts

    kiddieland: orange and yellow cotton shorts and button-down shirts (felt like I worked at Burger King!)

    games: white button-down shirts with multi-colored balloons flying all over them

    Sorry, but I'm drawing a blank as to what the refreshment stand people had to wear.

    Administrators and supervisors all wore ties and, trust me, we could spot a "tie" a mile away!

    Men's hair had to be above the collar and no beards or mustaches. No piercings allowed … not even ears! And if you forgot to wear your nametag, SHAME ON YOU!

  5. Eric

    I was watching the movie the other day with the director's commentary on and all they seemed to talk about was the music selections for the movie with very little discussed about the actual movie. It made me feel like the movie was nothing but a way for Greg Mottola to brag that he was able to get the licensing for music to a movie he wrote. Zombieland is much better.

  6. JaMeS 15

    sice this is the best whatever page i can find, celine dion built a 120 million water park in her back yard in Jupiter Island, Florida, not even 3 hours from my house


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