I didn’t like Movie 43, a new millennium attempt at something akin to Kentucky Fried Movie. Many critics across our great nation dislike this film. I guess I have to join the fray and say this movie doesn’t work as a whole.
But I won’t be trashing it because it’s terribly offensive and often screamingly disgusting. I’m a little demented when it comes to comedy, so I say bring on the farts, excessive curse words and scrotum necks.
However, if you’re going to do a gross sketch comedy, you had better do gross well. Your jokes better have the proper punch lines and kickers, and your sketches have to end strong.
Many of the sketches in Movie 43 end like a bad Saturday Night Live sketch, one of those misfires where you can see the players just sort of standing around looking confused. And a good chunk of the sketches, which are directed by multiple directors, just aren’t funny. Many of them land with a thud.
First, I’ll talk about the good stuff. I must give props to real-life couple Naomi Watts—a current Oscar nominee—and Liev Schreiber for their very funny turn as a couple proudly homeschooling their son. They want their kid to get the full high school experience, so they humiliate him, alienate him, nail him with dodge balls, and ultimately try to make out with him. Yes, I laughed hard at this. Simply stated, Movie 43 would’ve been better if it had been 90 minutes with these nuts.
I must also praise Terrence Howard as a black basketball coach who gets fed up with his youngsters being afraid of a bullying white team. Yes, this joke has been done to death, but Howard sells it big time. This is one of the sketches that ends badly, but not before Howard had me laughing out loud.
Johnny Knoxville and Seann William Scott kidnap a foul-mouthed leprechaun (Gerard Butler) and excessive violence and obscenity ensues. Real-life couple Anna Faris and Chris Pratt deal with one of them wanting the other to poop on them but make it romantic, and Jason Sudeikis gives us a commentary on Supergirl’s (Kristen Bell) bush. Believe it or not, there are some laughs to be had in these uneven segments.
Hugh Jackman, another current Oscar nominee, shows up for a blind date with Kate Winslet sporting testicles on his neck. This would be the first time in movie history where an Oscar nominee, mere weeks away from hearing if he has won the golden boy or not, appears on screen with hairy balls protruding from his neck. I’m thinking that this little moment in movie history will cost Mr. Jackman a few votes. It’s also not funny.
Another sketch, directed by Elizabeth Banks, features Chloe Moretz and her Kick-Ass costar Christopher Mintz-Plasse. Not surprisingly, it has a menstruation theme. Moretz gets her first period after her first kiss, and two brothers spazz out until their dad (Patrick Warburton) comes home and doesn’t help the situation. Another dud.
Even worse would be Elizabeth Banks starring in a post credits segment that has her getting peed on by a masturbating/animated cat. And even worse than that would be a “truth or dare” sketch where Oscar winner Halle Berry makes guacamole with surgery enhanced breasts and gets a dick tattooed on somebody’s face. Far worse than that would be a skit where Emma Stone and Keiran Culkin talk dirty at a supermarket, unwittingly broadcasting their dirty talk over the PA system.
Worst of all would be Richard Gere as an executive confused at the notion that young boys are trying to have sex with the I Babe, an MP3 player that looks like a supermodel but has a nasty, member mangling exhaust fan in its nether region.
The bad far outweighs the good, and that’s what makes Movie 43 a loser in the end. But I dare Hugh Jackman to wear his scrotum neck on the Oscar red carpet.