Epic Movie is stupid. In fact, the entire “Movie” series it stems from is stupid. There are few redeeming qualities in the burp and fart jokes that litter these films and I’ve seen my fair share of the series to be able to say that. In the end though, it’s kind of sad that I continue to watch the series—hell, I requested to watch this one. I’ve yet to walk away from one of these movies and not feel like I didn’t totally waste my time…but it’s hard to deny that I didn’t laugh at a fair bit of the film.
Epic Movie collects various popular “Epic” films, Superman Returns, Pirates of the Caribbean, Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, Willy Wonka and, if you can consider it epic, Borat, and spoofs them in the style that was made so famous by Scary Movie. Since the success of Scary Movie the series has spawned sequels and spinoffs (Date Movie and Epic Movie) that steadily decline in writing quality, but still manage to make a bit of money at the box office. I have to wonder if most of the money from these isn’t made from rentals, as I see leftover copies of these films littering used racks at Blockbuster’s and Hollywood Video’s.
The story of Epic Movie is largely based around Chronicles of Narnia. The four main characters mirror those from Narnia and along the way the other various movie parody’s come along to aid them in their quest. The Superman Returns parody so well advertised is quite literally there is from that film in this one—the character has no point in the story other than that scene and many of the other non-Narnia character spoofs don’t play a part in the story (aside from the Pirates of the Caribbean parody of Jack Swallows [I laughed just typing that]).
Without a doubt, the highlight of the film was Kal Penn’s performance. While I’ve never seen his more popular work, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle (which is spoofed in here as well, with Penn quipping “I feel like I’ve been there before.”), I did see his more dramatic role in this just recently ended season of 24 and he delivered some of the best scenes in this film with his interaction with Jack Swallows (I laughed again) and his fight with an Aston Kutcher parody. With the incorporation of a bit of Superman Returns plot I also find it odd that they didn’t reference Penn’s brief (and non-speaking) role in that film as Luthor’s henchmen, but in the end it’s not a big deal. Besides, seeing him bite into a giant chocolate log and then have Willy Wonka later tell him he was eating from the sewer pipe as corn falls out of Penn’s mouth is as funny to think about as it was seeing it. Gross, yes, but that’s my style of humor.
Overall the film can be skipped easily and you won’t be missing out. It’s quite a giant waste of time and spending time watching the DVD extras (of which there are plenty) is an even bigger waste, but if you’re a fan of the series you already know what you’re in for. Despite all of the shortcomings of the film, it’s worth a rental if you enjoy the series. If you don’t, then there’s nothing new here—same ol’, same ol’.
Epic Movie comes in rated (the PG-13 theater friendly romp) and unrated (nudity and probably some extra cursing) form. This review tackles the unrated version of the film which comes loaded with special features. Not only is there a commentary track by writers/directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, but there is a “Breaking Wind” audio track as well which incorporates burps, farts and “Beaver Lines” into the film in place of some sound effects and dialogue. After you’re done with the 5.1 track on the film itself (which is enjoyable, although predictably front channel oriented), these two are only worth a listen if you want to waste more of your time. While the duo of Friedberg and Seltzer are fun to listen to, if you didn’t enjoy the film it’s ultimately not worth your time, especially since they don’t even talk about Epic Movie. The burps and farts on the other hand…well, its burps and farts. You can’t really go wrong with that.
“How Gratuitous” adds more “eye-popping” scenes (read: boobs) throughout the film when you see the beaver icon and click on it and the rest of the disc is a mix of featurettes that are largely not worth your time to watch. The outtakes, as with all films, are enjoyable to watch and I’m just disappointed we didn’t see more. The majority of the featurettes has nothing to do with the film and instead ask questions such as the “Epic hook ups” in the film, “What would your porno movie be called?”, “What makes Aslo so irresistible?” and “character turn ons/offs.” As you can see, these are all throwaway featurettes, all running a small amount of time, and easily skipped.
The final featurettes are two Fox Movie Channel features with Fred Willard which cover his character in the film as well as the film itself. After that you can watch “Die Libre”, the “Winning Short Film from the Epic Movie Viral Video Contest.” By “can watch”, of course, I mean you can skip it because it, like the rest of the features on this disc and film, are not worth your time.
When I think about all the other worthwhile movies you could be watching, I can’t recommend this movie with good faith. If you find the series hilarious still, this one will be up your alley. Otherwise, don’t even bother renting this one. This one is going into my Skip pile.
Even if Jack Swallow’s is still a hilarious name.
Epic Movie: Unrated is now available on DVD.