Earlier this week, the nominees for the Razzie Awards were announced, honoring the absolute worst films of the year. Co-directors and writers Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer have given us the first truly awful film of the year in “Epic Movie,” a movie so bad you have to question why it was made in the first place.
Back in the day, we had spoofs that were created around specific themes and were also hilarious. There was “Airplane,” which sent up films like “Airport,” “Airport ’75,” etc. Keenan Ivory Wayans created two that were right on the mark, spoofing Blaxploitation films in “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka” and, later “Scary Movie.” Those were the good old funny days!
Friedberg and Seltzer don’t really have a specific target they’re spoofing – and within five minutes it becomes painfully apparent. Using a shotgun approach, they fire off jokes everywhere and not one comes even close to being funny. The basic story is four orphans (“The Chronicles of Narnia”), individually receive “Golden Tickets” (“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”) inviting them to take an “epic adventure.” Once our fearsome foursome arrive in “Gnarnia,” they wage war with the evil “White Be-yatch” for control of the kingdom.
There are a plethora of films that the filmmakers attempt to spoof including “The DaVinci Code,” “Nacho Libre,” “Snakes on a Plane,” “X-Men,” “Mission Impossible,” “Harry Potter,” “Superman Returns” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Unfortunately, not one of these lame, lazy, tired jokes work in this train-wreck of a film. The problem is not just that the jokes don’t work, but that the filmmakers lack a basic imagination to execute such a cumbersome plot.
Toward the end of the film, our four orphans are shown writing their names while urinating. That’s exactly what the filmmakers have done to anyone foolish enough to buy a ticket this “epic disaster.”