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Not Another Epic Movie Spoof!

  • Sep 11, 2008
Pros: Not as bad as Not Another Teen Movie...


... But then, being better than that takes very little effort

The Bottom Line: I'm too good to make another cheap shot here.

It was genuinely clever the first time. They started to push it with the sequel. By now, the jig is done. I didn't pay anything for the privelege - and I use that word in the loosest possible context - of seeing Epic Movie, but I still think writers Jason Friedberg and Aaron Setzer should give me my money back. Some kind of compensation would suffice. But Friedberg and Setzer are never going to be Mel Brooks or the Zucker Brothers.

The series of movie spoofs which began back with the first Scary Movie have run their course, and there's one scene in Epic Movie which clearly captures what the series has become: In the finale in Epic Movie, the four main characters - Edward, Lucy, Peter, and Susan - charge forward into the enemy army to do battle with the forces of the evil White B*tch alone. Now in real life, four people with no battle experience and just a little bit of training would be promptly wiped out by the army. And, well, that's exactly what happens to our plucky but doomed heroes in Epic Movie. Edward, Susan, and Lucy are all dead before they get halfway across the battlefield. Peter is badly wounded, and as his foe stands over him preparing to introduce him to the Reaper with one final deathblow, Peter keeps movie back groping in the grass helplessly, as movie characters in this situation are wont to do. But Peter's grabbing is..... NOT in vain! Peter finds a magic remote control hidden in the grass which he uses to bring his siblings back, rewind time to just before the beginning of the battle, and stop the army from moving at all. With the clear advantage, the four siblings now charge into the thick and give their hapless opponents the sword.

Got all that? In one scene, we've had parodies of The Chronicles of Narnia, Click, and just about every epic movie ever made. This is supposed to be funny. However, Friedberg and Setzer are no longer pointing out the foibles of a genre and making us laugh at them. What they're doing here is simply making nodding references to the movies they're supposedly making fun of. In Epic Movie, the references fly out faster than jokes in a prime episode of The Simpsons. It feels like the writing/directing duo is just grabbing their targets out of a bag for ninety minutes and hoping that a few of them will hit the funny bone. A lot of the references, like the Click reference I mentioned in the last paragraph, aren't even close to being clever. They certainly aren't funny, and most of them in fact feel like they were forced into the movie in order to meet some kind of quota.

The plot of Epic Movie - and "plot" is another word I'm only using here in the loosest possible context - revolves around four orphans. Lucy, Peter, Susan, and Edward are four young people who find golden tickets to visit a chocolate factory. When they visit the factory, a hanful of events sends them into the land of Gnarnia. Yes, you read that right. All they did was add a single letter. In Gnarnia, the group falls into the epic battle between good and evil, which is just another way of saying it's between the four kids and the White B*tch. The Chronicles of Narnia is definitely the center of the parody focus in Epic Movie. Though the movie does diverge to other tracks in futile attempts to amuse us, it stays with the Narnia spoof for most of its mercifully short running time. While there's no muted animal sacrifice in Epic Movie (as there was in The Chronicles of Narnia, which I wasn't that fond of either, by the way) we do get to see one ugly and deeply grating person calling himself Aslo wear a lion Halloween costume, tell crappy jokes, and set up a very creepy bestiality joke.

There are few jokes in Epic Movie which don't revolve around pop culture references. Actually, I'm hard-pressed to think of any, at least not right off the top of my head. Even the ones that don't involve other movies are predictable and even insulting. There's a riff on MTV Cribs which is pretty lame. I think the most inspired - and again, I use this word blah blah blah - joke in the movie is a shot at rapper Kanye West. When the denizens of Gnarnia complain about the rule of the White B*tch, a black guy dressed like a stereotypical hip hop star enters the screen and makes a perfect, deadpan delivery of this gem: "The White B*tch just don't care about black people." This is only playful on the strength of West's famous line about George W. Bush in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the fact he's a black guy saying it about a character called the White B*tch. But really, it's not nearly random enough to really be inspired.

Perhaps this is part of the problem: Comedy needs to have a bit of randomosity to it to genuinely be funny. But just about everything in Epic Movie can be seen coming a mile away. You've seen all of the movies spoofed in Epic Movie. You've heard all of the jokes before too. Friedberg and Setzer don't try anything daring or thoughtful. Each and every joke in Epic Movie, aside from being a riff from a superior movie, depends on the lowest common denominator. Bathroom jokes, sex jokes, references, and the stupidity of pretty much every character in the movie serve as leaning posts for the writers. And I won't even get into the common attack that a lot of the movies spoofed in Epic Movie aren't even epics. Many other writers have done that themselves, I don't have the time, and that complaint really is irrelevant anyway.

I will give kudos for the lookalikes cast into a lot of the parts. Johnny Depp apparently has a legion of people walking around Hollywood who look and talk just like him. And Carmen Electra is always nice to look at. But I'm going to end this review now, because if I bash it any further, I will have officially put more effort into bashing it than Friedberg and Setzer put into writing, producing, and directing it.


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December 08, 2010
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More Epic Movie reviews
Quick Tip by . December 08, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
I have to admit after the neverending stream of Scary Movie's and their counterparts i got sick of them but this one was actually kind of funny because its making fun of alot of my favorite movies....wich for some reason i get a major kick out of.
review by . November 01, 2008
Ladies and gentlemen   These are movies since '05     One, two, three, four, five   Everybody knows the films this movie derides   From DaVinci Code to Willy Wonka   The boys are running wild on the screen   After girls with big honkers   Big busts fill the movie screen   Cleavage deep and the girls are mean   You'll see Jennifer, Carmen Electra and Jayma   And as I continue you'll see it's …
review by . January 27, 2008
posted in Movie Hype
So let's get this straight: I love a good goofy movie sometimes. Pointless, silly, cute,'s all good. 'Airplane' and 'Young Frankenstein' and 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail' are among my favorite movies of this type, perfect for what they are, pure brain candy.    So why am I giving 'Epic Movie' the lowest possible rating? Simply put, because it's dumb. Its jokes aren't silly, they're just stupid. The few laughs the movie got out of me weren't the result of a funny …
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Nicholas Croston ()
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Hi! I'm here in part to plug my writing and let everyone know that I'm trying to take my work commercial.      Now, what about me? Well, obviously I like to write. I'm … more
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By dint of the inexplicable popularity of their send-up of movie genres in the parody movies Scary Movie and Date Movie, writer/director duo Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer probably got an epic-sized bucket of cash for this hastily stitched pastiche of drive-by entertainment. There's no particular variety of movie they were sent to send up this time, unless big box-office grossers has now become a genre in and of itself. If so, Epic Movie may well qualify as part of that league itself. Very little expense has been spared to make so-called "comic" references to a slew of mostly recent blockbusters--The Chronicles of Narnia, Borat, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the X-Men and Harry Potter series, Superman Returns, Nacho Libre, and The Da Vinci Code to name a few--and it's assumed we've seen them all. In a goofy thread of a story about four orphans plucked from some of the above, battle must be done through various bastardized plots from same so that a prophecy can be fulfilled and they can assume their rightful place as rulers of a sacred land. Lots of crotch kicks, fart, urine, and vomit jokes speed by as we pass through Willie Wonka's factory and a magical wardrobe with an unusually interesting assortment of look-alikes and name actors caught up in the gag mix (some of it legitimately funny). Darrell Hammond, Crispin Glover, David Carradine, Kevin McDonald, Carmen Electra, Kal Penn put on game (and ...

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Cast: Darrell Hammond, David Carradine, Jayma Mays, Fred Willard, Irina Voronina, Crispin Glover, Kal Penn, Adam Campbell, Jennifer Coolidge, Faune Chambers, Tony Cox, Héctor Jimenez, Carmen Electra, Jim Piddock, Kevin McDonald, George Alvarez, Crista Flanagan, Dana Seltzer, Dane Farwell, Tad Hilgenbrinck, Jim Piccock, Groovy, Kahshanna Evans, Lindsey Kraft, Jareb Dauplaise, Ricco Rodriguez, Danny Jacobs, David Lehre, James Salker, Sr., Cordele Taylor, Alla Petrou, Gregory Jbara, Jill Latiano, Abe Spigner, Shawn McDonald, Lauren Conrad, Katt Williams, Nick Steele, Brennan Thomas, Eagles of Death Metal, David J. Catching, Jesse Hughes, Brian O'Connor, Gene Trautmann, Kenny Yates, Daniel Joseph, Taran Killam, Jeremy Rowley, Qiana Chase, Jillian Grace, Masha Lund, Pollyanna Salas-Uruena, Sara Jean Underwood, Olivia Hardt, Zee James, Ginney Jones, Britten Kelley, Arielle Vandenberg, Heather Storm, Audra Lynn, Darko Belgrade, Brooklyn Freed, Michelle Misty Lang, Sabi Dorr, David Whatley, Mike Grief, Mary Castro, Ron LéRoy, Thomas Van Tassel, Lichelle D. Ebner, Paul Zies, Roscoe Lee Browne, Ronald Lee Clark, Joe Gieb, Arturo Gil, Ricardo Gil, Michael Lee Gogin, Joseph S. Griffo, Pancho Moler, Mike Murga, Mark Povinelli, Jon Simanton, David Steinberg, John Tamaki, Kevin Thompson, Tyce Diorio, Richard Steeio Vazquez, Megan Hiratzka, Samantha Lee, Philip "Spee-D" Albuquerque, Jaime "Venum" Burgos III, Oren "Flea Rock" Michaeli, Frankie DeMiranda, Chadd Smith, Anwar "Fliistylz" Burton
Genre: Action, Adventure, Comedy
Release Date: January 26, 2007
Screen Writer: Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer
Runtime: 1hr 25min (theatrical) 93 (unrated)
Studio: New Regency Pictures
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