The year’s worst-reviewed movie so far is now in theaters. But no one should have expected “Movie 43” it to be anything but crap. The A-list celebrity cast ensemble may have heightened expectations from audiences and critics alike, but actors can’t save something that is fundamentally meant to suck.
“Movie 43” starts out with Dennis Quaid (“Playing for Keeps”) playing a crazed screenwriter pitching a movie idea to a film executive played by Greg Kinnear (“Stuck in Love”) — there’s really no need to mention character names since no one cares or remembers. The screenwriter’s first movie idea is a rom-com. Kate Winslet’s (“Contagion”) character goes on a date with Hugh Jackman’s (“Les Miserables”) character. The thing is, Jackman is sporting a scrotum on his chin. What ensues is the most awkward use of fake balls known to film.
After the idea fails to impress, the writer tries to sell another idea. Then another. Eventually the exec gets sick of the terrible ideas and tries to throw Quaid out. But Quaid pulls a gun on Kinnear and the ideas have to keep coming.
Each skit’s premise sounds pretty damn funny. Halle Berry (“Cloud Atlas”) and Stephen Merchant (“Gnomeo and Juliet”) take “Truth or Dare” to a new level. Johnny Knoxville (“The Last Stand”) and Seann William Scott (“American Reunion”) try to get a leprechaun to give them his gold. Anna Faris (“The Dictator”) asks Chris Pratt (“Zero Dark Thirty”) to poop on her. “Movie 43” is nothing but huge names in tiny roles with a heavy dose of insanity.
But the segments in “Movie 43” are akin to really over the top, kinda funny “Saturday Night Live” skits without a laugh track. Every now and then something strikes audiences as really funny and gets a good hoot. Still, the majority of the film is bland from trying too hard.
There isn’t much acting in “Movie 43.” The actors just play goofy versions of themselves, save for those in the actual “plot,” and go with the flow. It’s clear everyone working on the film had a great time making it; it’s just not as much fun to watch the final product. It’s doubtful producers had any intention of making “Movie 43” a solid feature — they didn’t even give it a proper title.
Near the end of the film’s short running time, the fourth wall is demolished and the film’s rough nature is revealed as actors, now out-of-character, introduce the second to last clip.
The trailer for “Movie 43” shows exactly what to expect from the film: nothing terribly coherent and a lot of raw attempts at humor. Those looking to turn off the brain will probably enjoy the flick, while those looking for smart, clever buildups to laughs will absolutely hate “Movie 43.”
A word of caution: No one should stick around for the skit after the blooper-reel rolls. There’s a line that’s crossed between cat-on-human relations and what should be shown onscreen.
“Movie 43” is pretty funny. Audiences looking for a cheap laugh and dumb humor will feel at home watching the film. In no way does “Movie 43” take itself seriously, and since no one on the production team did either, that’s not a bad thing.
Still, save some cash and watch it when it inevitably ends up on Netflix Instant in the very near future.
2 out of 5