[Review] - Movie 43

Courtesy of Virgin Produced

Well.

That wasn't good at all.

Hit the jump for the condemnation... I mean review.


I'm going to save you some time here, just don't see this film. It isn't a film. It isn't anything. It certainly isn't worth time, and it sure as hell isn't worth money (thankfully, while I wasted an hour and half on the thing, I didn't waste a single cent). The audience I saw it with, mostly teenagers, mostly male, the absolute demographic for the film, was silent through the near entirety of the film. Three laughs were what I recorded, and not a one of them anything more substantial then the sort of chuckle that could reasonably be mistaken for a quick clearing of the throat.

The "substance", in the least accurate use of the word, is eleven "shorts", again used so inaccurately that time might be spent sending around large men to the houses of those responsible and defining it for them. With their fists. They are "held together" (this is the sort of film that inspires a liberal use of air quotes to describe otherwise reasonable goals and expectations) with a twelfth story, a bridging story that succeeds in holding it all together about as well as toothpicks can support a coffee table with an excited seal on it. That is to say, not at all. This bridging story differs in different markets, and in the UK actually has something to do with the title, though no more successfully. In the North American markets, the film has no structure. At times, it's a movie pitch meeting. Other times, it's a SCTV style channel flipping-esque thing, I guess. Some of the shorts exist within other shorts, while others just appear for no reason.

Only two shorts are close to being what someone might refer, by way of misspeaking while ordering a garden salad, good. The first is Superhero Speed Dating, but is more accurately described as Batman's a Dick, and really the only thing that saves it is that Jason Sudekis is the only person in the entire film who looks like he's actually enjoying himself, and the idea of Batman being a massive ass never gets tired. It does however come off as nothing more then a live action Robot Chicken sketch, and in that format would have blissfully been a scant two minutes long.

The second, Beezel, directed by Slither and future Guardians of the Galaxy helmer James Gunn, concerns an animated cat trying to kill Elizabeth Banks in a twisted take on the trend of CG/live action hybrids. The producers obviously knew it was the best, as they place it last, after a selection of credits, forcing anyone who might be interested to sit through the rest of this film, which might eventually be used to interrogate prisoners who have delicate sensibilities.

The film is the very definition of taking it too far, in every possible way you could construe that phrase. Each short is based on a single joke, a joke that fails to have any life beyond the initial telling. And yet each one of these belaboured dead horses are trotted out and beaten for more then they are worth. Each deserved maybe two minutes, five tops. Those that weren't funny beyond the initial premise just kept going and going, presumably attempting to follow Al Jean's old mantra about taking something funny so far it stops being funny, and then still going with it until it becomes funny again (a technique Seth MacFarlane ironically has taken too far). Nothing here succeeds in even the first step. And those that might have been able to carry themselves into actual plot territory unravel with the unnecessary introduction of new elements, because apparently we've moved on.

And then there is the gratuitous nature of the shorts. This isn't just cuss words and sex talk, the standard R rating fair. This is taking this so far past the point of obscenity and perversion that there simply isn't a reaction. I don't think anything in the movie offended me, and no one else in my audience seemed off put by anything, other then it wasn't funny. It was placid. This went further then the Aristocrats, into a realm of poop and incest and self-sodomised cartoon creatures that it just sat there, expecting more from us. It wasn't a commentary, it wasn't an attempt to show us how far we've gone and aren't we horrible for liking such things. It was a deliberate effort on the parts of the film makers to simply do this. It was just there for being there's sake, and it was a horrible decision.

For the second week in a row but in a much different context, I'll quote Aaron Sorkin: ""Quentin Tarantino's Hallmark Movie, Turkey Won't Die." It's about a mortally wounded bird that will not die, even as it's being served.... If geysers of blood are gushing out, then I get the Tarantino joke, and it's funny. If it's just a realistic amount of blood, then it's... extremely disturbing..." This movie takes it in the other direction: it ratchets everything up to 15, expecting it will be super outrageous, as a 20 year old in the mid nineties might say. But it isn't. A little poop is gross. A more then expected amount of poop is apparently funny. At a certain point, a wholly unrealistic amount of poop isn't funny, it's just a great big pile of shit. And that is what Movie 43 is: a great big pile of shit.

Though, Machine Kids was genuinely amusing, and therefore had no right being in this film.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.

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