Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp

Rated 4.0

One of the summer's best bets isn't even in theaters, but gracing Netflix. David Wain and Michael Showalter have finally birthed their Wet Hot American Summer prequel as an eight episode Netflix series, but I see it as a four-hour movie feast of dick fart humor. The film takes place in the same year (1981) as the camp in Wet Hot, but this time it's the first day rather than the last day. Everybody has returned and there has been no effort to make the likes of Showalter, Janeane Garofalo, Bradley Cooper and Amy Poehler to look any younger. (Paul Rudd, A.D. Miles and Michael Ian Black somehow look younger than they did in 2001.) New additions to the cast include Kristen Wiig, Jon Hamm and Jason Schwartzman, and they make the day at Camp Firewood all the more special. Ken Marino's character is even more of a virgin than he was in the original—and he punches his own cock a lot—and Christopher Meloni's Gene the Cook is living a lie in a secret identity. (We also find out how his can of vegetables attained its voice.) Because it's set in the ‘80s, toxic waste, bad gym shorts and Weird Al Yankovic all play prominent roles. If you hated the original film, you will hate this, and I feel sorry for you. If you regard the original as one of the funniest movies ever made, as I now do, then this stuff is heaven, and we need more. New songs include the Pat Benatar-like “Heart Attack of Love” and Paul Rudd's searing rendition of “Champagne Eyes.” (All eight episodes are available as a first run series on Netflix.)