Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Epic Movie

Last night I got home from work around 5:00, and my roommate Jason told me that he and Darren were going to the movies at 5:40, and that I was welcome to go along.

"What are you going to see?" I asked.

"Epic Movie," he said. I groaned. "Well, you don't have to go if you don't want to," he said.

"No, I don't have anything better to do. I'll go. I'll just bring a book along."

At this point I should explain to my reader(s) that we have a deal through our cable company that allows us to get two free movie tickets at the local theater every Tuesday. So does Darren. The only reasons I would consider going to so transparent a piece of crap are because it was free, and I didn't want to sit holed up in my room all night.

"Jason, isn't there anything else playing?" I asked.

"Smoking Aces," he replied. "But we're probably going to save that for next week."

"Why?" I pleaded. "For the love of God, why?"

"Well, from the reviews, Epic Movie is bad enough that it probably won't be in the theater by Free Movie Tuesday next week, but Smoking Aces will probably still be there by then."

I shit you not.

Jason's reason for wanting to see this movie actually hinged on how bad it was.

But again, I didn't have anything to do, so I packed a book in my pocket and set off for the theater.

* * *

I've seen a lot of bad movies in my time. I know this, and I've reconciled myself to the fact. One of the most recent movies I saw in the theater (again, with Jason and Darren on a Free Movie Tuesday, thank God) was Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj. I'm not exaggerating when I say that that movie didn't even make me smile, let alone laugh. I don't know why I keep doing it, except that I may be predisposed to enjoy having something to complain about.

Epic Movie comes from the proud tradition of such incomprehensible spoofs as Scary Movie, Scary Movie 2, Not Another Teen Movie, Scary Movie 3, Date Movie, and Scary Movie 4. I use the word "incomprehensible" because I simply can't figure out why some of the subjects of these movies' "satire" (I use the term very, very loosely) make it into the movies. For instance, a significant portion of Scary Movie 3 was premised on a spoof of 8 Mile. There was an extended bit in Scary Movie 2 that was a spoof of a Nike commercial.

If you're scratching your head, then I'm right with you.

Armed with the knowledge of how bad this movie was going to be, and with the knowledge of how stupid its forebears had been, I was still a bit taken aback at just how revoltingly unfunny this movie was.

First of all, as Darren and I were quick to note, it mainly spoofed The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which I loathed. That didn't really help it, I guess.

Second, and I think most importantly, Narnia was arguably the only really "epic" movie that it spoofed (I guess an argument could be made for others, like Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and X-3: The Last Stand). Let me expound a bit. Scary Movie was made primarily because there had been a glut of new horror movies, and it directed its "satire" at those movies and their own silly conventions. Juvenile, but the first one worked (at least a little). Hell, even Not Another Teen Movie, though it didn't choose subjects that were all completely current (spoofing Sixteen Candles in 2001? Come on now), kept its subjects to ones that were relevant to its ostensible premise.

Epic Movie, on the other hand, spoofed such things as MTV shows Cribs and Punk'd (making fun of Ashton Kutcher for wearing trucker hats is so 2004), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Casino Royale, Harry Potter, Nacho Libre, and The Da Vinci Code (I probably missed some during the part where I took a nap). Maybe nearly everybody else takes a more expansive view of the word "epic" than I do, but seriously, I'd think they could have come up with some better candidates (Lord of the Rings and The Matrix trilogy come immediately to mind).

Third, it just wasn't funny. I forced some laughs, just to try them on, and to try to fool myself into having a good time, but it just didn't work at all. I could see where the writers and director wanted the audience to laugh, but my usual reaction at those points was to mutter a disinterested, "So that happened." In addition to the complete lack of humor, I had one major gripe with the structure of the film. Nobody expects these things to be marvels of continuity, but I get a bit frustrated when I watch two characters violently killed (beheading and having her heart cut out, respectively) only to reappear with no ill effects mere seconds later.

It's not worth telling you what this movie was about. It'd be too painful for me to recall, and too painful for you to read. Suffice it to say that about halfway through the movie, I consciously balled my coat up into a pillow and went to sleep for about 15 minutes.

Never, ever see this piece of crap.