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By Eric Campos | January 17, 2005

It’s the return of the ugly Americans and this time they’ve set out on a road trip through Turkey, which ultimately finds them at the head of a major international s**t storm.
Making their way through Europe, a couple of American backpackers find themselves in Turkey, completely broke and longing to go home. So they concoct a plan to drum up some cash, which involves staging their own kidnapping by terrorists. Their thinking behind this is that the average American wouldn’t know the difference between an Iraqi terrorist and a Turkish shopkeeper, so all they need to do is find someone, rather trick someone into playing terrorist, videotape the kidnapping and send it back to the States where the media will scramble for the rights to their story, offering up ridiculous amounts of money. Thus begins their road trip to find their man, all the while spreading their greed and crude behavior wherever they go. They’re the turds and the beautiful Turkish landscape is the punchbowl.
Despite their crude behavior, these two guys aren’t made to be quite as despicable as you may think. They’re just a couple of clueless guys who don’t know any better and at times, they’re even quite humorous. This is a comedy after all, that’s very clear and the characters all do their part in keeping the humor rolling. Past that, I’m not really sure what the filmmakers were trying to do here. I don’t know whether “Crude” is supposed to be a total jab at ugly Americans stumbling through a foreign land, or is it picking on the scared Americans back home who believe anything they see on TV? Once the scheme is pulled off, the film ends abruptly, leaving the viewer wondering just what was it all for. I mean, I enjoy seeing the anti-Hollywood ending where things aren’t wrapped up nice and neat for easy consumption, but some sort of payoff is good, too.
Oh well, perhaps it was lost on me, another ugly American. I did however enjoy the humorous script, as well as the complimentary performances. But most of all, I loved the road trip through Turkey that “Crude” offered. I’m strapping on my backpack right now.

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