City Paper is not for tourists
Liberace jokes never go out of style. At least that’s what writer-directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer apparently were thinking while making Epic Movie, the spoof film that should finally prompt Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker to knife their eyes out. Infinitely more unbearable than last year’s pretty-bad Date Movie—which also featured a Friedberg-Seltzer script—this parody of blockbusters also attempts to milk punch lines out of “hilarious” topics such as gay marriage, hurricane relief, and, for the boomers in the audience, The Love Boat. The greater misfortune is that the filmmakers’ idea of lampooning movies such as The Chronicles of Narnia, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and X-Men: The Last Stand is simply to copy set pieces, throw in some look-alikes, and, inexplicably, have them break into hip-hop dance routines. (Hint: Taking inspiration from seasoned and popular comedy sources like Saturday Night Live’s viral-video hit Lazy Sunday isn’t a great way to go, either.) The plot loosely follows that of Narnia, with orphans Peter (Adam Campbell), Edward (Kal Penn), Lucy (Jayma Mays), and Susan (Faune A. Chambers) discovering that they are destined to defeat the land’s White Bitch (Jennifer Coolidge) and become royalty. On the way, the foursome encounters characters such as “Faun John” (Shawn McDonald), Willy Wonka (a seriously disturbing Crispin Glover), Pirates of the Caribbean’s Capt. Jack (Darrell Hammond, doing a decent impression), and Ashton Kutcher (David Lehre, who looks nothing like Kutcher). Flatulence and urine make frequent appearances, with gas ruining one of the film’s only semi-funny sight gags (which, for the record, involves Harry Potter’s aged, bloated Hermione and Ron). Another mildly clever moment is translating “Et tu, Brute” as “I’m Rick James, bitch!” There—now you can spare yourself the experience. Because Fred Willard slinging Cialis one-liners is worse than unfunny. It’s an epic shame.