Monday, November 7, 2011

Movies Not Worth Reviewing, Vol. 4 - Disaster Movie

The Good: Clear knowledge of recent movies?
The Bad: Not funny, Not cohesive, Terrible acting, Lousy execution of concept
The Basics: Far worse than can even be described, Disaster Movie is a lousy collection of loosely related jokes spoofing current cinema. Poorly.

There is nothing funny about the blacklists, the Hollywood system of banning that resulted from the Red Scare. There is nothing funny about how people were kept from work because others named names and had writers, directors, producers and actors kept from working because of their alleged affiliations with the communists. So, by extension, there is nothing funny about the idea of starting a new blacklist and alleging that Disaster Movie's writers and directors, Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg are terrorist sympathizers just to keep them from ever working in Hollywood ever again. There would be nothing funny about ruining their lives in that way even under the misguided notion of "saving cinema."

Sadly, there is nothing funny about Disaster Movie, either. The latest outing from the mind that brought Epic Movie (reviewed here!) and Date Movie (reviewed here!) to the screen is perhaps his most erratic and least funny movie to date. This loosely assembled collection of spoofs on films - most of which came out this very summer - falls utterly flat and ends up as a poorly constructed assembly of jokes that mock (yet again) women, homosexuals, fat people, short people and anyone who is different.

Will, Amy, and Calvin are friends who are having a lousy night. The party of their lives is disrupted by natural disasters, like an asteroid headed for their very city, tornadoes and earthquakes. As they struggle to make it to safety, they encounter Indiana Jones, Batman, Juney, and a wide array of others who are only tangentially involved in either the disasters around them or the attempt to save the city.

The film then degenerates into a witless quest to save the world. The fundamental problem here is that in the process, the references are so wide and varied that they quickly diverge from the point and purpose of the movie. In other words, this is not so much Disaster Movie, making a mockery of films that focus on disasters, it is pretty much an attempt to indict every superhero, comedy, science fiction or even drama movie in recent memory. It has more to that makes one consider it Epic Movie 2 than a true Disaster Movie, save that it is entirely sloppy. This flick is a cinematic disaster, but we know that that was not the intent of the title.

Perhaps the saddest thing about Disaster Movie is how the movie poster perfectly characterizes the movie. The movie poster is an amalgam of over ten films, including the cinematic outing of Sex And The City, Dodgeball, The Dark Knight, Iron Man, and Juno. The movie poster illustrates perfectly the lack of coherent, cohesive themes for Disaster Movie. Sure, there is an asteroid headed to destroy the Earth at one point, but it is only an excuse to make snarky pokes at every movie to have a modicum of success in the last year.

But largely - and this cannot be stressed enough - Disaster Movie is not funny. It is not clever, it is not even amusing. From the moment it begins through is resolution, I laughed a grand total of zero times. This is especially disturbing when one considers that I've seen virtually every movie referenced, love cinema and genre works and enjoy a good spoof. The problem here is that Disaster Movie is not a good spoof. Instead, it is a random collection of jokes that allude to current movies.

For those looking for anything remotely along the lines of character development, Disaster Movie is absolutely abysmal for that as well. The lead protagonists, Amy, Will and Calvin show up only to wander through a collection of allusions. This is like Cloverfield, save there is no underplayed love story being poorly developed under the surface for even the appearance of development. In other words, the characters are simply tools used to allow the writers and director to make their "jokes." There is no character growth because the film is not actually about the individuals running around the city as opposed to who they run into while there.

As for the acting, it is astonishing that Disaster Movie even snagged actor Ike Barinholtz from Mad TV. Barinholtz actually has comedic talent, none of which comes through in Disaster Movie. Outside Barinholtz, Disaster Movie is devoid of any innate talent, consisting instead of Seltzer and Friedberg regulars like Nicole Parker, Crista Flanagan, and Tony Cox. In Disaster Movie, none of them seem to be on their game. Instead, the humor falls flat from the set up through the delivery of virtually every joke or gag. Indeed, if there was ever a spoof movie where it seemed like every single comedian was off in their sense of timing and delivery, Disaster Movie might well be it.

Lacking a decent - or even reasonably structured - plot, Disaster Movie wanders around pointlessly and aimlessly from one vignette to another as the group of twentysomethings attempts to save a world the viewer is utterly uninvested in emotionally. The result is a pointless movie that one not ought to waste their money seeing, no matter how mildly amusing the previews might make it seem.

For other lousy comedies, please check out my reviews of:
Vampires Suck
Scary Movie 4
Did You Hear About The Morgans?


For other movie reviews, please visit my index page by clicking here!

© 2011, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.

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