Disaster Movie is a 2008 American comedy film written and directed by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer. It stars Matt Lanter, Vanessa Lachey (née Minnillo), Gary "G Thang" Johnson, Crista Flanagan, Ike Barinholtz, and Kim Kardashian-West. The film grossed $34.8 million on a $20 million budget, and it was a critical and commercial failure. With a 1% "rotten" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a 1.9/10 on IMDb, and a 15% on Metacritic, it is not only considered as the worst film made by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer but as one of the worst films of all time. This film, along with Meet the Spartans was nominated for the Razzie Award for Worst Picture, but lost to Mike Myers' The Love Guru (which this film also parodied.)
"Will, Lisa, and two of their friends attempt to flee man-made and natural disasters and encounter Batman, Hancock, The Hulk, Indiana Jones, Hannah Montana, Michael Jackson, Beowulf, the Love Guru, Iron Man, rabid chipmunks amongst others in their seemingly vain efforts to seek help and shelter from unknown threats."- Description from IMDb
A bunch of random people start to be plagued with stupid disasters and try to get away from them and encounter many rip-off characters along the way.
The film begins in 10,001 B.C., a caveman (Matt Lanter) is seen running away from a mammoth, which squashes him, and the caveman gets his face covered in mammoth dung. He keeps running until he encounters Wolf (Ike Barinholtz) and gets into a fight with him. He manages to defeat him, sees a reptilian-like creature's eye, and starts to run away. The creature then turns out to be a gasoline-drinking sabre-toothed Amy Winehouse (Nicole Parker). She takes her MacBook, goes to "Facenook," and informs him that on August 29, 2008, the world will end, and their fate lies on the Crystal Skull (which is amber-covered). The caveman starts to scream.
The sequence turns out to be a nightmare that Will (Lanter) was having as we cut to the present. Will wakes up and is sleeping with his girlfriend Amy (Vanessa Minnillo), who turns out to be having an affair with Flavor Flav. She takes with Jo-Jo with her after Will doesn't admit his true feelings for her, and she says that she won't go his "Super Duper Sweet Sixteen" birthday party at his house because he's 25. He responds by saying that he never had one before she leaves. At Will's "Super Duper Sweet Sixteen" party, we meet a girl who flashes her hairy breasts to Will, Dr. Phil, Will's best friend Calvin, Anton Chigurgh (Barinholtz), and Calvin's girlfriend, Lisa Taylor (Kim Kardashian). Then, Seth and "McLover" trying to steal beers. Lisa wrestles with The Beautiful Assassin (Carmen Electra). After a long fight, she hires Calvin to shoot the assassin, but he accidentally shoots at Dr. Phil, causing Seth and McLover to get scared. He tries to shoot at her again, but this time he accidentally shoots at Chigurgh, frightening Seth and McLover. The assassin says that she curved the bullet, and Calvin finally shoots at her, causing Seth and McLover to leave the party.
Then we cut to Juney (Crista Flanagan) and Paulie, who is talking about selling babies on "uPay." Amy arrives with her new boyfriend, a Calvin Klein underwear model. After the High School Musical kids, Jessica Simpson (Parker) and J.T. sing, the room shakes, and the lights go out. A bulletin from the radio reports that something has jolted the city. The underwear model is scared and thinks he and the others are going to die. Will asks Amy why she brought another guy with her, and she responds by saying that every time he made love, she was thinking about another guy. When the bulletin reports that there's a meteor shower, that it's the end of the world, and that a meteor destroyed a Pinkberry, everyone evacuates. Outside, everyone's running away. Will, Calvin, Lisa, and Juney find that a meteor has hit Hannah Montana (Flanagan), who wakes up, saying goodbye to all her fans before fainting. After she wakes up for the fifth time, her blonde wig falls out, revealing that she genuinely is Miley Cyrus. A kid tries to wake up a drunken Hancock to save the world, but Hancock slaps him, which sends him flying while shouting and calling him an asshole.
He wakes up and gets hit in the head by a pole, passing out. The city starts to freeze over, and they retreat to a garage for shelter, where they meet the characters from Sex and the City. Juney fights and defeats Carrie Bradshaw. She explains that global warming caused the calamities, and Will realizes that the dream he was having about Amy Winehouse could be related.
Then, Will has a dream where he's a Jumper and tells Amy that he can teleport through time to space. Prince Caspian (Barinholtz) comes in and says, "I am Prince Caspian, here to save Narnia," as Will falls into his sword. He identifies Will as "the guy who ruined Star Wars" (Hayden Christensen). Will screams as he wakes up, and his friends tell him that they saw his dream. They scold him for not committing himself to his relationship with Amy, and when the room starts shaking, they leave the garage. A policeman (Barinholtz) tells the people to keep moving as many of them get crushed by meteors. Will gets a call from Amy, who's at a museum, next to a Tyrannosaurus skeleton, and he admits that he loves her. He can't hear her while she's talking as the call is dropped, and she leaves. He decides to rescue her, but Calvin tells him that he shouldn't or else he would die. Lisa then gets crushed by a meteor, killing her. While the other comfort Calvin, the Enchanted Princess (Parker), climbs out and gets ran over by a taxicab. Calvin immediately falls in love with her, and she tells them that she has consuming lots and lots of enchanting drugs. Later on, the princess' pimp, Prince Edwin, comes in and challenges Calvin into a dance fight.
When a tornado appears, Edwin flees and hides in the sewer hole, and tells Calvin that the princess is all his. Iron Man comes to fight the natural disaster and says, "I am Iron Man" before getting knocked down by a cow thrown by the tornado, turning him into a tin can. Hellboy (Barinholtz) appears, gets knocked by another cow, and leaves. Then, a man comes (Bruce Banner), saying that the tornado is making him angry, so he transforms into the Hulk. His pants rip, and he gets hit by yet another cow. Amy calls Will, saying that an Egyptian statue fell on her during the earthquake, and Will says that he'll save her, but she cannot hear him. They find shelter, and Calvin gets a phone call on his shoe phone from Lisa's mother, who is informed about Lisa's demise and how Calvin has found the princess. Calvin, after the call, ends up with dog poop on his face. They encounter three singing Chipmunks, whom, while singing and dancing to death metal music, turns out to have rabies and begin to attack the gang. They start feeding on Juney's back until she presumably dies, and Will and Calvin manage to trap the Chipmunks in a garbage can, suffocating them to death.
After a parody of the infamous "HeadOn" commercial, they go outside where many people are evacuating, including Batman (Barinholtz), who informs them they must leave in buses and that there will be no chance of survival if they go to save Amy. Learning that 5:30 pm is closer to 9 than he thought, he throws a grappling hook, which then accidentally lands on a car that drags him away while he was talking to the princess. With time against them, the princess shoots several times at Speed Racer, so they hijack his Mach Five. They hear someone say "hee-hee!", so they check the trunk.
Inside the trunk is Michael Jackson, Chim-Chim, and Spritle. They drive to the Natural History Museum and get there, where they save Amy, who informs them that they Crystal Skull from Will's nightmare is the only thing that can prevent the end of the world. Calvin and the princess try to get out, but someone shut the museum doors, and all the artefacts come alive. When Will and Amy run to put the Crystal Skull on the altar, they encounter a nude Beowulf (Barinholtz), who keeps saying "I am Beowulf!" and Will makes gay jokes about him.
Meanwhile, Calvin and the princess confront Kung Fu Panda, who slaps the princess. Calvin fights and defeats him. When Calvin and the princess kiss each other, Calvin accidentally pulls out her wig, revealing that she is a man in drag. Kung Fu Panda takes out a katana and kills both of them. While Will fights Beowulf, Amy takes an axe and stabs Beowulf in the back, killing him.
They run into the altar where they meet Will's father: Indiana Jones (Tony Cox). He tries to put the Crystal Skull on the altar but has an accident. Will does it instead, and everything goes back to normal. The film ends with a wedding ceremony for Will and Amy being performed by "The Guru Shitka." Then, an extensive musical number about some (not all) of the characters dating each other, ending with the Chipmunks, who are then crushed by a cow. Then the credits start rolling.
Why It's A Disaster
- The film was not screened in advance for critics, which is always a major red flag.
- It's filled to the brim with gross-out jokes and other forms of toilet humor, racist jokes, homophobic jokes, transphobic jokes, and sex jokes. An example is the Amy Winehouse parody burping and not stopping for a very long time (it's even longer in the Unrated Cut).
- Speaking of which, the unrated cut of the film, known as the "Cataclysmic Edition," is just as bad as the original cut, if not possibly worse. It just has more rear nudity, sex references, unfunny jokes, and swearing (there are at least 50 F-bombs in the unrated edition).
- Multiple out-of-place cameos, especially from Michael Jackson (a year before his death), Justin Timberlake, or any other celebrity that was popular back in 2008.
- The awful acting can ruin a somewhat funny scene, especially from Kim Kardashian.
- Terrible and unlikable characters. First, Will is a bland and uninteresting action hero. Second, his girlfriend, Amy, is a generic forced romantic interest. Third, Calvin is a token African American guy who is irritatingly unfunny, always saying perverted stuff, and behaves uncomfortably and passive-aggressively. Lastly, Juney (a parody of Juno MacGuff) is an annoying character because she only speaks in teenage hipster lingo.
- Airplane! already did the film's concept decades earlier and way better.
- The setting has no dark atmosphere to the end of the world, and it looks fake, much like Friedberg and Seltzer's other movies.
- The story is horrendous, and the film isn't invested with its world's end plotline and wants to shoehorn sketches that have nothing to do with the apocalypse, such as the "dance battle" scene.
- The pacing is horrific and sluggish. Despite the film being only 87 minutes long, some of the scenes feel like they drag on for a very long time. The longest the film can go without making a new reference is 4 minutes and 20 seconds!
- The humour is minimal, merely being based on popular films of 2007 or 2008 and toilet humour.
- Several continuity errors. For example, in one scene, Amy gets a facial cut, but in the next scene, it disappears with no explanation.
- Too many pop-culture references. In one scene where Juney and Paulie are talking, they referred both Facebook and eBay by their actual names, but on-screen, the parody names are shown (Facenook and uPay).
- It has some foolish ideas including rabid and monstrous chipmunks who are parodies of Alvin and the Chipmunks and an evil Kung Fu Panda (a parody of Po from Kung Fu Panda).
- Speaking of Alvin and Chipmunks and Kung Fu Panda, their costumes or puppets are horrible and hideous to look at, especially the Kung Fu Panda costume, which has horrendous lip-syncing.
- Considering the title of the movie, one would assume that it would knock on Hollywood disaster films where it conjures virtually every conceivable threat except for droughts (though that's a drama situation). The only "disaster" movie mentioned is 1996's Twister and the cliché "cow in tornado" bit.
- Fun fact: In Brazil, the film's title is Super-Heróis: A Liga da Injustiça (Portuguese for "Super Heroes: The Injustice League"), even though the film is supposed to be a "parody" of the disaster film genre, not the superhero genre.
- And to make matters worse, some of the parodied movies, like Hancock, Wanted, The Dark Knight, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and Kung Fu Panda, had not been released when the writers were writing the film's script.
- The film's parody of Disney's Enchanted was completely useless because Enchanted was already a parody itself; it mocks the animated fairy tale movies that Disney used to produce.
- The Austin Powers parody was also completely useless as Austin Powers itself was already a parody movie; it mocks the James Bond series.
- Abysmal songs, including one about getting an abortion and another one about how dating is sex. The "I'm Dating" (or "I'm Fucking") song is a total rip off of the "I'm Fucking Matt Damon" comedy song by Sarah Silverman. During the song, the "Beautiful Assassin" (a parody of Fox from Wanted) refers to Anton Chigurh from No Country for Old Men "as the Mexican," even though the character is most likely European while the actor Javier Bardem is from Spain, not Mexico.
- What makes things worse is that this film is not supposed to be a musical!
- The original music score by Christopher Lennertz is very bland. When the score is trying to support the apocalyptic setting, it doesn't even have that over-theatrical and melodramatic orchestral style that Hollywood disaster films have.
- Poor special effects. For example, when the Enchanted Princess is shooting Speed Racer repeatedly with a pistol, you can see that the slide on her pistol doesn't move.
- The film's Japanese poster is misleading since it shows a Tyrannosaurus skeleton grabbing Carrie Bradshaw, even though it doesn't appear in the movie whatsoever and even though the T. rex had 3-foot (1 meter) long forelimbs with only two fingers. The American poster is misleading too, as it shows the Mack Five from Speed Racer in a tornado, but that never happens in the movie.
- Awful ending. As mentioned in the plot, some of the characters sing about dating (fucking in the Unrated Cut).
- Poor audio editing. During the "I'm Dating" song, Batman's guitar begins to play before the shot switches over to Batman.
- Some of the movies, like Alvin and the Chipmunks (live-action series) and The Love Guru, are already terrible movies. What made them think that parodying horrible movies would make this one good?
- The costumes for Batman and Iron Man aren't good and look like cheap Halloween costumes. Iron Man looks more "Plastic Man," and Batman's costume has wonky ears for no apparent reason. Has he been in a fight or something?
- Idiotic, unrealistic, and sometimes vulgar names, like "The Guru Shitka."
- Blatant product placement for Calvin Klein and Apple.
- Some of the costumes are pretty good, like the Enchanted Princess' costume, the costumes for the Sex and the City girls, and Ike Barinholtz does a decent performance as a parody Hellboy.
- The "HeadOn" joke is pretty funny.
- "Friends Forever" is pretty catchy, despite the bad lyrics.
- Since the film received disastrous reviews; we can at least say it lives up to its title.
Movies & TV Shows
- 10,000 BC (2008)
- American Gladiators (2008)
- Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
- Flavor of Love (2006-2008)
- My Super Sweet 16 (2005-2008)
- GMW (2007)
- Wanted (2008)
- No Country for Old Men (2007)
- Juno (2007)
- High School Musical (2006)
- Cloverfield (2008)
- GMW (2004)
- Hannah Montana (2006-2011)
- Hancock (2008)
- Sex and the City (1998-2004)
- Sex and the City (2008)
- You Don't Mess with the Zohan (2008)
- Jumper (2008)
- The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian (2008)
- Enchanted (2007)
- Step Up 2: The Streets (2008)
- GMW (1996)
- GMW (2008)
- GMW (2004)
- Alvin and the Chipmunks (2007)
- Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999)
- The Shining (1980)
- HeadOn (2006 commercial)
- The Dark Knight (2008)
- Speed Racer (2008)
- Night at the Museum (2006)
- Beowulf (2007)
- GMW (2008)
- The Love Guru (2008)
- Amy Winehouse †
- Justin Timberlake
- Jessica Simpson
- Phil McGraw
- Michael Jackson †
The film grossed over $34.8 million against a budget of $20 million. Making it a box office bomb and the first unsuccessful film from Friedberg and Seltzer.
Critics and moviegoers alike panned the film when it came out. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a 1% approval rating based on 73 reviews with an average rating of 1.8/10. The site's critical consensus says "Returning to their seemingly bottomless well of flatulence humor, racial stereotypes, and stale pop culture gags, Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer have produced what is arguably their worst movie yet." The movie also has a 1.9/10 on IMDb, and, as of October 13, 2018, tops the site's Bottom Rated Movies list. It also has a 15% on Metacritic based on 12 critics and an F from Cinemascore.
The film got nominated for six Razzie Awards (Worst Picture for Friedberg and Seltzer, Worst Supporting Actress for Electra, Worst Supporting Actress for Kardashian, Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel, Worst Director for Friedberg and Seltzer, and Worst Screenplay for Friedberg and Seltzer). Still, all lost to The Love Guru, Repo! The Genetic Opera, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, 1968 Tunnel Rats, In the Name of the King, and Postal. It, however, won a Golden Schmoes Awards for Worst Movie.