by Kevin Carr
|| MOVIE: *1/2 (out of 5 stars)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ** (out of 5 stars)
Kal Penn as EDWARD
Adam Campbell as PETER
Jennifer Coolidge as WHITE BITCH
Jayma Mays as LUCY
Faune A Chambers as SUSAN
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Directed by: Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer
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I never thought I’d say this, but aren’t spoof movies getting a little old?
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Maybe it’s not the genre of spoof movies, but maybe it’s just the usual gang of idiots making them has changed. After all, I was a huge fan of Mel Brooks’ spoofs from the 70s and 80s. And I loved the ZAZ spoofs from Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker. Even the recent batch of “Scary Movies” were funny.
But starting with “Date Movie,” these films have gone downhill. I don’t think it’s because spoof movies are bad, but rather that these guys making them are.
Still, I thought “Date Movie” was okay. It wasn’t great, mind you, but it wasn’t terrible. I found myself laughing several times through that film, and it wasn’t a total waste of time.
The same cannot be said for “Epic Movie.” Where “Date Movie” had the teeniest, tiniest of charm to it, “Epic Movie” had none. While I’ve seen all the films referenced in the movie, I found none of the jokes funny. That’s a rare thing to say, but it’s true.
Even the jokes from the trailers weren’t that good. The reason for this is because the trailers are cut to only two minutes or so. They have to tell the jokes fast. However, in “Epic Movie,” they linger on the jokes like the stench from a flatulent after a spicy meal. This film has possibly the worst timing I’ve ever seen from a professional film.
I’d begin by explaining the plot, but that’s the biggest problem. There is no plot. Instead of actually telling a poorly constructed story, the movie shifts gears from spoof to spoof, not actually telling a story but just referencing movies and pop culture randomly around these characters. We start with references to everything from “The Da Vinci Code” to “Snakes on a Plane.” The characters drop into a bad SNL sketch of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” before being thrust into Gnarnia, which has been spelled differently apparently for copyright purposes.
I read one critic who slammed “Date Movie” by saying that just referencing a movie or event in pop culture is not making a joke. While that happened quite a bit in “Date Movie,” it happens ad nauseum in “Epic Movie.” Things are just dropped in, whether they’re a bad Borat impersonator saying “Niiiice” or Paris Hilton saying “I’m hot.” They aren’t eased in or cleverly inserted into the story. This movie is like a sneeze of bad jokes splattering its germs into the air we all breathe.
The saddest part of this movie is that it was a hit. Normally, January is considered a sewer of film. If you’re not watching the Oscar-nominated films rolled out to flyover country, you’re seeing some of the worst new releases of the year hit the screens after January 1. But people flock to see them. What sad state our society is in if “Date Movie” topped the box office the first month of this year (and were it not for “Ghost Rider,” “Norbit” could have easily been king in February).
The unrated DVD features some more nudity and profanity than the theatrical release, but there’s nothing there to really warrant spending any time or money on. There’s a decent assortment of special features, but unfortunately they did nothing for me but remind me of the film... and that just made me depressed.
With the well running dry for genre comedy, I don’t know what these two writers from “Scary Movie” are going to do next. Maybe superheroes, comic books or musicals even. Whatever the next victim, I assure you that critics will run screaming from any title that ends in “Movie.” Sadly, the public won’t, and that means more will be made... and thus the apocalypse will have begun.