Epic Movie review by Mike LongI typically try to have a "live and let live attitude" and I don't worry too much about what other people are doing. But, at times, I have to wonder about the decisions made by people in the U.S.. On imdb.com, Date Movie has an average rating of 2.7 out of 10 based on 15,065 votes. Therefore, a lot of people hated that movie. So, when a second film from the makers of Date Movie, entitled Epic Movie, opens, what happens? It opens at #1 with a take of almost $19 million! Don't people ever learn? The question here is, "Is Epic Movie as bad as Date Movie?"
Epic Movie doesn't really have much of a plot, but here's an overview of the film's guiding premise. Four orphans, Edward (Kal Penn), Peter (Adam Campbell), Lucy (Jayma Mays), and Susan (Faune A. Chambers) (note that these are the same names as the main characters from The Chronicles of Narnia) each find a "Golden Ticket" inviting them to visit Willy's chocolate factory. Once there, they find a magic wardrobe which leads them to the world of Gnarnia. After meeting Mr. Tumnus (Hector Jimenez) and Harry Beaver (voiced by Katt Williams), they learn that the White Bitch (Jennifer Coolidge) is attempting to enslave all of Gnarnia. The orphans agree to help Aslo (Fred Willard) defeat the White Bitch.
As with Date Movie, Epic Movie sets up a basic premise and then the film turns into a series of scenes spoofing recent hit films. Aside from the obvious Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the other targets here include Snakes on a Plane, Borat, X-Men, Nacho Libre, Lord of the Rings, and Pirates of the Caribbean. Is
Epic Movie as bad as Date Movie? Actually, I think it's worse. Co-writers/co-director Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer may actually be the laziest people working in Hollywood. (How they are working in Hollywood is beyond me.)
There's nothing wrong with the idea of spoofing hit movies. The problem with Epic Movie is that the jokes are so lame. Essentially, the jokes here could have been written by anyone while watching the movies in question. If I'm going to pay to watch a spoof, then I want to see some creativity, not something that I could have overheard a teenager say to his buddy in the theater. There's no "next level" thinking going on here. Jack Sparrow has been renamed Jack Swallows. That's not clever. Magneto has a big magnet on his helmet. Is that funny? To say that the jokes are obvious would be a huge over-statement. The movie reaches the point where even the slightest hint of creativity is welcome. For example, we Mr. Tumnus' home is introduced, the movie becomes a send-up of MTV's Cribs. I turned to my wife and said, "It will be an obvious joke, but if he has Scarface, that will at least be funny." Well, to the film's credit, there was a Scarface joke. Followed by about ten more. When the writers finally do something quasi-right, they then take it too far.
The only praise that I can give the film is that setting most of the story in Gnarnia was a good idea, as being in a fantasy land means that most anything can happen. Other than that, the film is a complete failure and a waste of time. The jokes aren't funny and they could have easily have been written by your kid brother. Ready for another scary statistic? The movie has made nearly $40 million dollars thus far, and has a 2.1 out of 10 rating on imdb.com. Here's a hint folks, if you don't like these movies, then don't go see them. Just watch the movies that they're making fun of again...or stare at the carpet.
Epic Movie follows the sound of non-laughter to DVD courtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. The film has come to DVD in two separate versions, the PG-13 theatrical cut and unrated cut, which runs some 7 minutes longer. The film has been letterboxed at 1.85:1 and the transfer is enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs. The transfer looks fairly good, as the image is sharp and clear. The picture shows little grain and no defects from the source material. My preview copy showed some artifacting, but it was minimal. The best facet of the video was the vibrant colors. The DVD carries a Dolby Digital 5.1 audio track which provides clear dialogue and sound effects. Stereo effects are good, and the film's constant use of hip-hop supplies nice bass response. Surround sound effects are subtle, but effective when used.
The Epic Movie DVD features a ton of extras, but none will help you learn more about the movie. We start with an AUDIO COMMENTARY from co-writers/co-directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. They attempt to do a spoof commentary, where they lie about everything that we are seeing, and just like the movie itself, it isn't funny. There two alternate viewing choices for the film -- with the "Breaking Wind Version", you are treated to an alternate audio track where every character farts constantly...what fun!; and "How Gratuitous", offers a branching feature which will go to additional footage when the Beaver icon appears on-screen. "Everyone Loves Beaver: Epic Hook-ups" (4 minutes), "Epic Porn - What Would Your Porn Movie be Called?" (3 minutes), "What Makes Aslo So Irresistible?" (2 minutes), and "Hot or Not: Character Turn Ons and Turns Offs" (2 minutes) are four separate segments which contain comments from the cast about silly questions. "Making the Video: Lazy Pirate Day" (10 minutes) is a serious (sort of) look at how the Pirates of the Caribbean scenes were done. The DVD features a 90-second "Alternate Ending", which isn't much different from the ending used. "Fox Movie Channel Presents: Making a Spoof" (7 minutes) and "Fox Movie Channel Presents: In Character with Fred Willard" (9 minutes) both feature Willard and behind-the-scenes footage from the making of Epic Movie. The final extra is "Die Libre: The Winning Short from the Epic Movie Viral Video Contest" (3 minutes).
1 out of 10 Jackasses