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by Willie Waffle

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Epic Movie

I hope I live to see the day return when filmmakers and studios realize that a parody movie needs to be more than taking the year’s most popular movies, putting them in a blender, and letting it all spit out onto the screen like a drunk girl who hits her limit of appletinis at 3 AM and can’t make it all the way home.  Instead of magic, you get a mess like Epic Movie. 

In Epic Movie, Edward (Kal Penn), Peter (Adam Campbell), Lucy (Jayma Mays) and Susan (Faune Chambers) are four orphans who all come into possession of a golden ticket that earns them the chance to visit a magical candy factory for, “an epic adventure”.  However, once there, the four realize they are in danger and find a magical wardrobe that leads to the land of Gnarnia, where they are supposed to fulfill a prophecy and defeat the evil White Bitch (Jennifer Coolidge).

Can they win this war as they come across all sorts of characters that are extremely familiar to movie fans? 

Epic Movie is too simple, too vulgar and too obvious to be Funny Movie.  It’s not even Chuckle Movie or Giggle Movie.  At this point, I can’t say I was surprised at several jokes about passing gas, urination, sex and other potty humor, since these are the last resorts of the writer who can't or won't do better, and we see them more and more these days.  However, what makes Epic Movie so bad is the lack of energy, originality and hilarity. 

Writers/directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer need more jokes, and a sense of subtlety that rewards viewers who pay attention or see the movie multiple times.  Of course, after seeing it once, I doubt you would want to see it again or feel the need to pay close attention. 

Instead of layering the visual humor and scripted jokes, everything about Epic Movie is in your face, with most humor centered around taking characters you recognize and just making them dumber, which isn’t all that funny, especially when so many of them already are dumber than a box of rocks.  Every joke practically has a sign hanging around it identifying it as such (they just should have added a laugh track and gotten it over with, or maybe some sort of message on the screen that instructs the audience when to laugh). 

Friedberg and Seltzer rarely show any true understanding of what made characters like Jack Sparrow or Borat or any of the other targets so popular, and have no desire to get into details that might make the story into one that can stand on its own.  We are left with uninspired and unoriginal material that could have been written by anyone who bought a ticket as every scene is put into Epic Movie for recognition instead of trying to develop something resembling a story.

Even worse, our heroes only seem to succeed when they cheat, and their acceptance as heroes says much more about society than we need to get into here.  I just think it is odd that people who essentially steal their golden tickets, and do something else less than gallant to win the climactic battle, are supposed to be heralded as winners.  I’m not that old, am I?

Epic Movie will have its fans, many who will send me hateful email, but it could never stand up to classic parody films like Airplane or The Naked Gun.  Heck, I don’t think it could stand up to Deck The Halls or Basic Instinct 2. 

0 Waffles (Out Of 4)

Epic Movie is rated PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, language and some comic violence. 

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