Whether you’re cleaning your toilet with a toothbrush or discarding rat carcasses from your attic, anything is more worth your time than this sad excuse for a movie. An asinine mashup of popular films, most of the blockbuster variety, Epic Movie doesn’t have the right to exist. It’s not a smart satire of any of the films it parodies, and in fact, almost nothing in this trainwreck can be fairly called smart. The humor is possibly more lowbrow than what you’d find at a frat house on Friday night, and the writers can’t even be bothered to create some internal fantasy world logic, except to say there isn’t any. Characters simply appear and come back to life when needed, not so much to serve the story as to simply fill up space. My single praise is reserved for the casting; two out of the four leads are non-white, which at fifty percent I’m sure sets some record.
One of those leads is Kal Penn, and there’s something to be said that three years after heading up a game-changing Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, he’s top billed for swill like this. Penn plays orphan Edward, a very big one who still eats gruel with the children at a Mexican monastery. He gets chucked out a window, but not before snatching a golden ticket out of a chocolate bar. This leads to Willy’s candy factory where he meets three other golden-ticket-toting orphans – Lucy (Jayma Mays), who was raised by a museum curator who speaks in code; Susan (Faune Chambers), who gets stuck on a plane with lots of mothereffing snakes; and Peter (Adam Campbell), a chicken mutant who attends a special mutant school. By the time we are introduced to our main characters, the movie has referenced no less than seven films. It’s a drinking game gone amok.
The remainder of the film progresses in this haphazard fashion, ripping off the big and small screen whenever the writers see fit. The candy factory turns out to be a house of horrors, not dissimilar to Roald Dahl’s creation if we’re honest. Instead of rivers of chocolate, Edward discovers rivers of sewage. It’s not sophisticated humor, I should emphasize. Willy (Crispin Glover) turns out to be a madman, again not dissimilar to what Dahl had in mind, and while trying to hide from him, the four make their way to a wardrobe and stumble into Gnarnia.
At this point, you really have to ask yourself some hard questions. Do you want to see a parody of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe or would you rather just watch the actual movie? Is the White Bitch (Jennifer Coolidge) a necessary character or are we fine with the plain old White Witch? Does seeing Mr. Tumnus (Hector Jimenez) make out with Harry Beaver really enhance anything, in life? Just like golden toilets, beer hats, and Donald Trump, Epic Movie is one of those things we can all live without.
Prod: Paul Schiff
Dir: Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer
Writer: Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer
Cast: Kal Penn, Adam Campbell, Jayma Mays, Faune Chambers, Jennifer Coolidge, Tony Cox, Jack Cortes, Hector Jimenez, Crispin Glover, Jareb Dauplaise, Darrell Hammond, Carmen Electra, Kevin Hart, Fred Willard, David Carradine, Katt Williams
Time: 85 min
Country: United States