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Sunday, January 28, 2007

Epic Movie

Epic Movie is epically silly. But you knew that, didn’t you? It isn’t like it’s a movie that’s advertised as being for the MENSA crowd. It’s more DENSA than MENSA, obviously, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Epic Movie, now at the Essex Cinemas, is from the same people who brought the world last year’s Date Movie as well as the last few Scary Movie mishaps that didn’t quite live up to the original, but that’s because with Scary Movie 3 and 4 they had milked the franchise until there was nothing left that hadn’t been skewered. Wisely, writers/directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer have turned their attention to a new genre and have struck gold when looking for a source to mine for satire in the cornucopia of fantasy and superhero movies heaped on our cinematic plates in the past year or so.

Epic Movie spares only Spiderman from total humiliation (perhaps because he didn’t make an appearance on the big screen in 2006). Otherwise, just about everyone you can think of from the Hollywood blockbuster is worked into Friedberg and Seltzer’s story, which, surprisingly, manages to have an actual plot despite being the Frankensteinian creation of several elements from the biggest hits of last year’s runaway successes, most notably Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, X-Men: Last Man Standing; Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe. That’s not to say the end result is anything as well done or as classy as any of the source material. This Epic Movie is as clumsy as Frankenstein’s monster and about as articulate. The thing (it doesn’t deserve to be classified as a ‘film’ with the likes of real “epics” like The Adventures of Pluto Nash or Pootie Tang) is a cumbersome collection of the oldest poop, oral sex, MTV, rap music, and even Paris Hilton jokes in history. Most of these jokes were old when "Laugh-In" was new and the Paris Hilton references were then directed at that other blonde (but definitely not a real dimwit like Paris) of the day Goldie Hawn.

The most amazing part of
Epic Movie is that somehow the producers managed to lure some actual B List names to appear in the movie to lend credence to the affair. Adults might be tricked into thinking this is a legit affair as it features both Jennifer Coolidge and Fred Willard of the Christopher Guest stable (Waiting For Guffman; For Your Consideration) and also features former Kid in the Hall Kevin MacDonald as an aging Harry Potter for no apparent (and totally unfunny) reason. Trust me, this is strictly a teen movie for those young’uns who aren’t particularly discriminating in their tastes or who are herbally, chemically, or hormonally preoccupied while watching it.

The movie skips through tips of the hat to Star Wars, Snakes on a Plane, James Bond, Nacho Libre, and The DaVinci Code with convincing recreations of the original films’ sets and character make-ups, but the Herculean efforts to detail seem all for naught when the script stumbles over every opportunity it has to make us laugh.

Epic Movie won’t kill you if you see it. I laughed out loud a few times, but then, as ghastly as Jackass Number Two was, I guiltily laughed at that occasionally too. It may dissolve a few brain cells, but if you don’t mind the shame of seeing something that will definitely not tax your brain or your sense of humor, Epic Movie is perfect for you.

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