Movie 43 Review
Before we get into this review, let me shed some light on something. I love a good laugh. Anybody who knows me will tell you that I love to laugh, I laugh at stuff the average person wouldn't find funny. I have always had a wondrous fascination with comedy. The possibilities are endless just as long as you can crack a good joke. I love slapstick comedy, dark comedy, offbeat comedy, toilet humor, gross-out humor, dramatic comedy, horror-comedy, the list goes on and on. I give every type of sub-genre a fair shot, just as long as I laugh a little bit.
I also am a person that understands star power and its charisma. I understand just how crazy actors like Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Sean Penn are, but I'd be lying if I tried to tell you they weren't talented. Those boys bring people to the theater and for good reason, they are great to watch. I've been watching movies for as long as I could talk, so I really do get just how powerful a loaded cast can be.
"Movie 43" is an ambitious idea that features a loaded cast. When a movie features a cast with Dennis Quad, Greg Kinnear, Kate Winslet, Hugh Jackman, Naomi Watts, Liev Shreiber, Anna Faris, Chris Pratt, Emma Stone, Justin Long, Jason Sudeikis, Kristen Bell, Uma Thurman, Richard Gere, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Halle Berry, Sean William Scott, Johnny Knoxville, Gerald Butler, Elizabeth Banks, Terrance Howard, Common, and Josh Duhamel. That cast is loaded. It also features cameos by Snooki, Seth MacFarlane, Kate Bosworth, J.B. Groove, Kieran Culkin, Jack McBrayer, Patrick Warburton and Matt Walsh. Lots and lots of funny and talented people, in a huge comedy about Hollywood. How on Earth could this not work? Well, it can't, believe the reviews because this film is a stinker.
The entire movie is a collection of shorts which revolve around a partiular wrap around story. The film's wrap around story is about Charlie (Quad) a newcomer in Hollywood who is pitching his comedy idea to Griffin (Kinnear) who works for an unnamed studio. Charlie brings a paper outline of the comedy he wants to sell to this studio and as he describes parts of the movie, they are acted out in comedic shorts by big stars. If somebody in Hollywood really tried to pitch this idea, it would have gotten laugh out of the office. As Charlie's movie is nothing but a bunch of lame gross-out jokes, stories that don't connect to each other in any way. There is nothing here that even remotely resembles coherency. Near the end of the film, the wrap around story closes with the biggest cheat ending I have seen in awhile. So essentially, all "Movie 43" wanted to be was a bunch of A-list actors acting gross and stupid for an hour and half. Mission accomplished, that's all this movie is.
The worst part about "Movie 43" is most of it isn't funny. Sure, Gerald Butler as a trash-talking, potty-mouthed elf gave me the giggles, but we've seen that type of work from Butler before. I can also say the best segment was the "Superhero Speed Dating" segment. It featured Sudeikis as Batman, Long as Robin, Thurman as Lois Lane, Bell as Supergirl, Leslie Bibb as Wonder Woman and Bobby Cannavale as Superman. The jokes landed each time, and it's clever in the way it nitpicks the DC Universe as a whole. Had the entire movie worked like that one segment, I'd be weeping right now. But the rest of this movie is just a bunch of big stars acting disgusting to no prevail and no resolution. Apparently, this is an inside joke that somehow made itself onscreen. When I saw McFarlane show up talking about "Family Guy," I thought the movie was finally picking up, but the funniest guy in the movie only gets a 30-second cameo, lame!
What made all of these great actors get together to do something so tasteless? Did they feel it was the time in their careers to do gross-out stuff? Did they find it edgy, silly and ambitious? I can't fathom all the agents it took to get the script for this mess shipped to all these actors. Did the agents of all these bright actors think this was a good idea? I mean, this is a collection of shorts, so theme and character development are out the window. It saddens me that the shorts and the story which brings them together make no sense. So all I have to base this experience on is how many times I laughed. I barely laughed at all. Which only tells me that "Movie 43" is an epic failure as high-concept and high-comedy.
I can't really comment on the performances, because each segment is done before it really begins, had the directors and writers taken the time to really flesh-out a couple of these segments, they would have struck gold. But there are so many segments to get to and so many actors for us to see that this movie becomes a jumbled mess. And because the segments do not connect to tell an overall story, this all feels like a big waste of time.
Maybe I am wrong. Maybe you want to see Hugh Jackman with testicles on his chin, maybe you want to see Halle Berry get an exaggerated boob-job, maybe you want to see Elizabeth Banks get pee'd on by an animated cat, maybe you want to see Noami Watts make out with an teenager and maybe you want to see Chris Pratt spray diarrhea all over a car. Perhaps that all sounds quite hilarious to you. All I can say is be warned, because everything about this movie sounds much better on paper, the execution of it all is quite poor. All in service to a story that didn't make a lick of sense.
FINAL GRADE: D