A movie you know is going to be bad, Epic Movie is the latest in a string of poorly done parodies, a genre that was rebooted by the Scary Movie franchise. Remember The Naked Gun movies and how funny they were? The time for slapstick spoofs has come and gone, and we're left with this piece of crap, which makes fun of "epic" movies that have occurred over the last few years.
Of course, like all of the other recent spoofs, including Scary Movie, the movie makes fun, or tries to make fun, of every random pop culture item the writers could think of, regardless of whether that item is epic or not. The movie revolves around a spoof of The Chronicles of Narnia, a film I really wouldn't consider to be an epic but that serves as a good basis for a story nonetheless. The characters, played by Kal Penn, Adam Campbell, Jayma Mays and Fauna A. Chambers, visit the land of Gnarnia, after they take a quick trip through Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory (in this version, the chocolate river which tastes oh so good is actually the sewage line). Along the way they must go up against the White Bitch (Jennifer Coolidge).
Compared to last year's Date Movie, Epic Movie is a masterpiece, but considering the fact that I gave Date Movie an "F", that's not saying much. Epic Movie, overall, is pretty lame, and it's a real shame because once again, if the studio just spent a little more money on getting good writers to actually try a little, a perfectly proper satire could be created (see Hot Fuzz for an example of a movie that makes fun of a genre while remaining smart and entertaining). Instead, the movie is just a bunch of random scenes smashed together to form a hardly coherent story no one cares about. Most of the spoofs are pretty pathetic, and when a joke fails the writers usually resort to toilet humor to cover things up.
The movie does have its moments. A spoof of Harry Potter that has rather nasty-looking adult actors playing the likable kids is pretty funny, and there is a Superman joke that works pretty well (when Superman gets shot in the eye, the bullet doesn't exactly bounce off). There's also a Gnarnia "Cribs" video that is pretty funny, though "SNL" did it better.
Epic Movie has its moments, but overall it is still a waste of time and money. Why the studios continue to create this garbage is beyond me; sure, the movies probably cost next to nothing to make, but if they actually got some decent people to write and direct these things, they could drive their profits through the roof. Epic Movie isn't the complete disaster I was expecting, but it still comes pretty close.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.
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