31 January 2013

MOVIE 43- Review

In the middle of Movie 43, there's a short, celebrity-free skit that takes the form of a faux charity advert, raising awareness of the small children who live inside vending machines, printers and cash machines. They do the best they can to operate these utilities, and bear the brunt of frustrated users and customers. This skit pushed my final laugh tally for the film up to one higher than Keith Lemon: The Film.

Movie 43 is not, as the hastily re-shot framing device would have it, a film that's sought out by a bunch of stupid kids, for being the most controversial and offensive movie on the internet. It's neither as controversial, nor as offensive as any of the talents involved believe that it is, as a spin on the sketch format that was formerly used in films such as Kentucky Fried Movie or Amazon Women On The Moon. I was most of the way through a list called "43 Reasons To Avoid Movie 43", but decided against it. This movie doesn't deserve it.

You don't have to review films for as long as I have to realise that there's no bad film worse than a bad comedy. If a horror film doesn't scare you, it might be because you've braced yourself in advance. If a sci-fi film doesn't dazzle you, it might be because there's a whole bunch of genre intertextuality that makes it difficult to bring anything original to the table, especially if your movie is John Carter. If a romantic film doesn't move you, it might because Katherine Heigl is in it. But you expect to laugh at comedies, and if they fail to elicit that response, that's unforgivable.

Another thing you realise in no great amount of time is that when you rant about really bad movies, you arouse people's curiosity more than you discourage it. Movie 43 isn't worth the effort of a nice gimmick like the one I mentioned above. It would have led to a review as segmented and inconsequential as the film itself, and with only a couple of extra laughs. Then again, it could be that I dropped the 43 reasons approach because I actually came up with around 116 reasons, and it was too tough to whittle them down. Either way, the film is rubbish.

Peter Farrelly is one of the driving forces behind this movie, which includes skits by lots of different Hollywood directors, including James Gunn and Brett Ratner. In August last year, I reviewed The Three Stooges, directed by Farrelly and his brother, Bobby, and said that it was a shame how too few directors were doing live-action comedies aimed squarely at kids. With Movie 43, Farrelly is back to playing up the juvenile humour for older viewers, and it's a real shame. The endless onslaught of gross-out jokes is beneath the filmmaker who gave us the well-judged slapstick of Stooges just a few months ago.

Every skit brings a new, horrible low for some actor that you know or like. Hugh Jackman celebrates his Oscar nomination for Les Miserables with a corresponding Norbit moment, by strapping a prosthetic scrotum to his neck and deadpanning through the opening skit. Emma Stone gives the singularly least sexy performance of her career by making out-dated Golden Girls jokes and sticking her fingers in Kieron Culkin's mouth. Stephen Merchant has an excruciating game of truth or dare with Halle Berry. And although there are worse jokes elsewhere, the nadir is a cheap rehash of the much funnier YouTube superhero skit, Robin's Big Date, which deals in cheap Halloween costumes, Jason Sudeikis at his very worst, and painfully awkward non-jokes.

For all of the stars that somehow agreed to take part in Movie 43, the truth is that most of them are starring in better movies right now. Les Miserables, Zero Dark Thirty, The Impossible, The Last Stand- fuck it, even Gangster Squad. That means there's no feasible reason why the cast would attract you to this, especially when most of them are absolutely rubbish in it. It's a succession of lame jokes and contrived set-ups that stagger from one embarrassing scenario to the next, without a punchline or a point, and it's utterly obsolete in an age where you can stay at home, line up any eleven sketches from YouTube, College Humour or Funny Or Die, that have better jokes and production value, and have a way better time than you would if you ventured out to see this crap.

Movie 43 is now showing in cinemas nationwide.
If you've seen Movie 43
, why not share your comments below? I think this is the worst thing that any of these actors have ever done, except Halle Berry, who did Catwoman. Let me know if you think of any others!
I'm Mark the mad prophet, and until next time, don't watch anything I wouldn't watch. 

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