Principal Cast : Kal Penn, Adam Campbell, Faune A Chambers, Jayma Mays, Jennifer Coolidge, Tony Cox, Jack Cortes, Hector Jiminez, Jareb Dauplaise, Crispin Glover, Darrell Hammond, Carmen Electra, Jim Piddock, Kevin Hart, Fred Willard, David Carradine, Katt Williams, Danny Jacobs.
Synopsis: A spoof on post-2000’s epic movies, 4 orphans are on an epic adventure to save the magical kingdom of Gnarnia from the evil power of the White Bitch.
I’m not sure if Epic Movie could take the title of the Worst Film Ever Made, but it sure as shit is well in the conversation. A loose riff on several popular mid-2000’s blockbusters – most notably The Lion The Witch And The Wardrobe from Disney’s short-lived Narnia franchise – this nonsensical copulation of sound and visuals is an absolute dumpster fire of ineptitude, stupidity and cringe-worthy performances. In fact, it’s hard to imagine a stupider, less pleasant experience than this, and I’ve watched Playing With Fire.
Describing the plot to Epic Movie is normally where this paragraph would sit in any of my reviews. To call this film’s screenplay a plot is to suggest the ingredient section on food packaging is highbrow literature. It’s an abysmal smashing together of loose story threads from The DaVinci Code, The Lion The Witch & The Wardrobe, and the second Pirates of The Caribbean movie. Kal Penn, Adam Campbell, Jayma Mays and Faune A Chambers play orphaned siblings, the Pervertskis (yes, you read that correctly), thrust together by a mysterious prophecy (something about a code from DaVinci) to save the magical land of Gnarnia, which exists inside a wardrobe buried in a creepy chocolate factory run by Willie (a terrible Crispin Glover, who out-Johnny Depps Johnny Depp). There they meet Mr Tumnus (Hector Jiminez), who tells them of a prophecy to thwart the evil powers of the White Bitch (Jennifer Coolidge), who rules over Gnarnia with an icy hand. Along the way they also encounter a drunken pirate, Jack Swallows (Darrell Hammond), the half-lion, half-man demigod Aslo (Fred Willard) and a weird talking beaver, Harry (Katt Williams).
Epic Movie is a movie you can actually hate. It’s actively abhorrent, an obnoxious shit-and-fart movie without a single redeeming feature, the kind of film you need to be both stoned and pissed to enjoy in any way, and even then you’ll find most of the humour so dreadfully written, so heinous to the human experience, you may very well find yourself stupider for having experienced it. Not a single moment in this film will make you laugh, nor even crack a smile. Almost every facet of this film’s production, excluding cinematography and production value, is execrable: the screenplay is a jarring collection of unfunny skits threaded together by a wafer-thin premise, the acting performances beggar belief for how stupid they are – Jayma Mays makes a good fist of trying to approximate perennial spoof-flick starlet Anna Faris, but fails to nail it – and the direction stretches the obviously limited budget to its absolute extreme. Frankly, I’ve had more fun dealing with my kids’ gastroenteritis.
Epic Movie came along on the crest of the post-2000’s wave of spoof films kicked off with Scary Movie (which was a spoof of the horror genre, notably Scream), Disaster Movie (obviously referencing big-budget genre films of the period), Meet The Spartans (which took on Zack Snyder’s 300, as well as a number of others), Date Movie (which, naturally, focused on romantic comedies) and Not Another Teen Movie (what, you need me to draw you a picture?). These films were all low budget (typically between $15-$20m to produce) and invariably dragged in massive box-office receipts on opening weekends, which resulted in producing studios eyeing them off as a fairly effective money-making exercise: sadly, not a single one of the aforementioned films have stood the test of time, mainly due to persistently dated pop-culture references – in Epic Movie, there’s an appearance by a Paris Hilton lookalike, whose five minutes of fame waned by at least 2010 – and past-their-use-by-date jokes that were ancient when the film debuted. Cameos by the likes of Crispin Glover, Fred Willard and Kevin Hart could have been quite amusing were they not mired in iniquitous “comedy” writing, and the singular waste of talent having Roscoe Lee Brown, best known for narrating Babe, lend his voice to a movie so stupid you want to claw out your own eyes rather than continue watching, is perhaps the biggest among the big missteps this stupid piece of trash exhibits.
Frankly, there are funerals I’ve enjoyed attending more than watching this awful thing. The word “loathe” isn’t quite strong enough, but it’s as close an approximation to my feelings enduring Epic Movie as I’m able to get; watch this film at your peril. It’s a dreadful, irredeemable piece of trash, and you’d be doing yourself a favour if you set yourself ablaze and ran through a warehouse of paint thinners instead.