One of Film Crit Hulk’s core philosophies is “NEVER HATE A MOVIE” and it’s a philosophy that I have tried to adopt. As Hulk recalls from a conversation with Quentin Tarantino, “There’s plenty of reasons to not to like a movie. But if you hate them? Meaning if let them bother you? Then they’ll do nothing but bother you. Who wants to be bothered? There’s so many better things to do with movies.” This is something I agree with whole heartedly. That being said, Movie 43 is testing my resolve.
I had basically two choices this weekend when it came to movies. I could have gone to Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters or Movie 43. From everything I had seen and heard about Hansel and GretelI was pretty confident in knowing exactly what I would be getting and that I probably wouldn’t have liked it. Movie 43, on the other, was an unknown; I had not seen any of the trailers or followed any of the publicity for it. I had some vague information, like the fact that it’s being marketed as “the biggest cast ever assembled” and that it was an ensemble piece featuring sequences from different filmmakers, but in terms of actual content I was going in completely cold. Five minutes into the film Hugh Jackman removes a scarf to reveal a scrotum attached to his neck. I sighed to myself and said, “Oh, it’s this kind of movie.”
Movie 43 is a film that hates its audience. It is overflowing with complete and utter disdain for the people watching it and goes out of its way to insult you. It’s a film experience equivalent to paying someone to punch you in the stomach. I’ve never felt a stronger desire to walk out of a movie than I have with this one.
The gist of this film is that it’s a compilation of several unrelated short comedy sketches strung together by the narrative of some schmuck who is trying to pitch this to a Hollywood executive at gun point. It features skits ranging from the aforementioned testicle neck to an Apple commercial parody featuring a music player shaped like a life-sized naked woman to one that is literally a 15 minute poop joke. I wish I was making this up. It features some of the most lowbrow, unfunny tripe I have ever seen. I’ve been really trying to avoid the word “offensive” because it’s such a buzzword and unfortunately can have the unintended effect of making people curious, but I really cannot think of a better word to describe this film. I was completely and thoroughly insulted, disgusted, and yes, offended by this movie.
To be fair, there are two, maybe three skits that actually work. There’s a parody PSA about children living in machines that was legitimately clever, and a short directed by James Gunn (Super and Marvel’s upcoming Guardians of the Galaxy) featuring a couple whose romance is being threatened by a demented animated cat has some wonderfully twisted humor, however these are hardly enough to make it worth a recommendation. The PSA is only about a minute long and the James Gunn sketch is tucked away in the end credits of the film. It’s as if the movie actively tried to gloss over anything that was potentially clever or funny.
I know this review is short, but I don’t have anything more to say about this one. Honestly, I don’t want to talk about Movie 43, I don’t even want to think about Movie 43, I just want to put it as far from my mind as possible. This isn’t even the type of bad movie that I can enjoy tearing apart with a review, it’s just a completely miserable experience that I wish I had never had to endure. I can say with confidence that Movie 43 is one of the worst films I’ve ever seen in my life, maybe even the worst. That sounds like hyperbole, and maybe it is, I don’t know at this point. I just know that I wish I had never seen this god-awful movie.