Disaster Movie is a 2008 American parody comedy film written and directed by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, starring Matt Lanter, Vanessa Lachey (née Minnillo), Gary "G Thang" Johnson, Crista Flanagan, Ike Barinholtz, and Kim Kardashian-West. The film is a parody of the disaster film genre and popular culture, and released on August 29, 2008 by Lionsgate.
Upon release, it received a negative reception, with a 1% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a 1.9/10 on IMDb and a 15% on Metacritic; it is also considered as the worst film made by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, as well as one of, if not the worst film(s) of all time.
"During a fateful night, a group of impossibly attractive 20-somethings (Matt Lanter, Vanessa Minnillo, Kim Kardashian) must dodge a series of man-made and natural disasters. Twisters, asteroids, earthquakes and singer Amy Winehouse are just some of the perils they face while trying to make their way to safety."— Official description
The film begins in 10,001 B.C., a caveman 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 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 saber-toothed Amy Winehouse. She takes her MacBook, goes to "Facenook".(a parody of Facebook, 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 was having as we cut to the present. Will wakes up and is sleeping with his girlfriend Amy, who turns out to be having an affair with Flavor Flav. She takes with Jo-Jo with her after Will fails to admit his true feelings for her, and she states he will not go to the "Super Duper Sweet Sixteen" birthday party at his house because he is twenty-five. He responds by saying that he never had one before she leaves. At Will's "Super Duper Sweet Sixteen" birthday party, we meet a girl who flashes her hairy breasts to Will, Dr. Phil, Will's best friend Calvin, Anton Chigurh, and Calvin's girlfriend, Lisa Taylor. Seth and "McLover" then try to steal beers, while Lisa wrestles with The Beautiful Assassin. After a long fight, she hires Calvin to shoot the assassin, but he accidentally shoots at Dr. Phil, scaring Seth and McLover. He tries to shoot at her again, but accidentally shoots at Chigurgh instead, 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.
Meanwhile, Juney and Paulie are talking about selling babies on "uPay", and Amy arrives with her new boyfriend, a Calvin Klein underwear model. After the High School Musical kids, Jessica Simpson and J.T. sing, the room shakes and the lights go out. A bulletin from the radio reports that something has jolted the city; this scares the underwear model, who immediately assumes 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. The bulletin reports that there is a meteor shower that is going to end the world, with one of them having destroyed a Pinkberry; in response to this, everyone evacuates. As everyone is running away, Will, Calvin, Lisa and Juney discover that a meteor has hit Hannah Montana, who awakens, saying goodbye to all her fans before fainting. After awakening for the fifth time, her blonde wig falls out, revealing her identity as Miley Cyrus. A child tries to wake up a drunken Hancock to save the world, but the latter slaps him, sending him flying as he calls him out as 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 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 had about Amy Winehouse could be related to so.
In a dream, Will is a Jumper and he informs Amy of his abilities to teleport through time to space. Prince Caspian 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" (referring to Hayden Christensen). Will screams upon awakening from the nightmare, and his friends inform him that they had seen his dream, scolding him for not committing himself to his relationship with Amy; the room starts shaking, so they evacuate from the garage. One police officer encourages others to continue moving as many of them are being hit by meteors. Will gets a call from Amy, who is currently in a museum, standing next to the skeleton of a Tyrannosaurus rex. He admits his love for her; however, he is unable to hear her while she is talking as the call is dropped, and she leaves. He decides to go and rescue her, but Calvin urges him not to, fearing his safety. Lisa is hit by a meteor, ending her life in the process. While the others comfort Calvin, the Enchanted Princess climbs out only for a taxicab to run her over. Calvin immediately falls in love with the Enchanted Princess, who informs the group of her consumption of enchanting drugs. Time passes, and the princess' pimp, Prince Edwin, comes in and challenges Calvin in a dance fight.
A tornado appears and Edwin flees and hides in the sewer hole, informing Calvin that the Enchanted Princess is all his. Iron Man comes to fight the natural disaster and introduces himself, before being hit by a cow thrown by said tornado, essentially turning him into a tin can. Hellboy arrives only to be hit by another cow thrown by the tornado, encouraging him to leave. Bruce Banner, enraged by the tornado, transforms into the Hulk; his pants rip, and is hit by yet another cow thrown by the tornado. Amy informs Will on the phone that an Egyptian statue had fallen on her during the earthquake; Will informs her of his intentions to rescue her, but she is unable to hear him. They find shelter, and Calvin gets a phone call on his shoe phone from Lisa's mother; he informs her about the demise of her daughter and explains how he has found the Enchanted Princess. After the call, Calvin ends up with dog poop on his face. The group encounters three chipmunks singing and dancing to death metal music; it turns out they have rabies and they begin to attack the gang, feeding on Juney's back until she seems to die, and Will and Calvin manage to trap the chipmunks in a garbage can, in which they suffocate to death.
After a parody of the infamous "HeadOn" commercial is shown, the group head outside where many civilians are evacuating, including Batman, who informs them of their requirement to leave in buses and how there would be no chance of survival if they head to rescue Amy. Learning that 5:30 PM is closer to 9:00 PM than he thought, he throws a grappling hook, which then accidentally lands on a car that drags him away as he was in the middle of a conversation with the Enchanted Princess. With time running out, the Enchanted Princess shoots several times at Speed Racer, allowing the group hijacks his Mach Five. Upon hearing someone say "Hee-hee!", the group open the trunk of the vehicle to discover Michael Jackson, Chim-Chim and Spritle inside.
The group head to the Natural History Museum and rescue Amy, who informs them that the Crystal Skull from the nightmare Will had is the only thing that can prevent the end of the world. Calvin and the princess attempt to escape when the doors for the museum are closed, as the artifacts come to life. Running to place the Crystal Skull onto the altar, Will and Amy encounter a nude Beowulf, who continuously introduces himself as Will makes gay jokes about him.
Calvin and the Enchanted Princess confront Kung Fu Panda, who slaps the Enchanted Princess; Calvin engages in a fight, defeats him in the process. Calvin and the Enchanted Princess kiss only for the former to accidentally pull out her wig, revealing her identity as a man in drag. Taking out a katana, Kung Fu Panda kills both of them. As Will is in the middle of a fight with Beowulf, Amy takes an axe and impales Beowulf in the back, killing him.
Will and Amy run to the altar only to meet his father, Indiana Jones; he tries to place the Crystal Skull onto the altar but has an accident. Will places the Crystal Skull on the altar instead, succeeding as everything returns to normal. The film ends with Will and Amy ending up being married as "The Guru Shitka" is performed. An extensive musical number about some of the characters dating each other, ending with the Chipmunks, all three of whom are crushed by a cow as the film ends.
Why It's A Disaster ( No pun needed )
- 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" (that are just celebs lookalikes), especially from Michael Jackson (a year before his death), Justin Timberlake, Jessica Simpson 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, immature 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.
- Unoriginality plot and writing, considering that Airplane! already did the film's concept decades earlier and way better.
- The setting has no dark atmosphere to the end of the world (as it should have), and it looks fake, much like Friedberg and Seltzer's other movies.
- Awful CGI, particularly with the "disaster" scenes like the meteors, the ice storm, and the tornado.
- 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 or the High School Musical sketch.
- 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 and most of it is only dedicated to doing pop culture references. The longest the film can go without making a new reference is 4 minutes and 20 seconds!
- The humor is minimal, merely being based on spoof popular films of 2007 or 2008 and gross-out/toilet humor.
- Several continuity errors. For example, in one scene, Amy gets a facial cut, but in the next scene, it disappears with no explanation.
- Way 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).
- Lots of these are dated, if you're not familiar with the references the film came up with (like Sex and the City, Jumper, Wanted, the HeadOn commercials, American Gladiators, My Super Sweet 16, etc.) you're left confused and scratching your head.
- Some scenes take forever because the characters have to point out what they're referencing, such as pointing out that the dance battle is based on Step Up 2, not Step Up 1.
- It has some foolish ideas including rabid and demonic 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 disturbing and hideous to look at, especially the Kung Fu Panda costume, which has horrendous lip-syncing.
- This movie doesn't even follow its own premise. Judging by the title and some of its posters, one would assume that the idea of the movie is to lampoon those overblown disaster movies that Hollywood makes every once in a while like Dante's Peak, Deep Impact, Armaggedon, The Core, The Day After Tomorrow, Cloverfield or 2012, by making fun of its repetitive cliches and evoking practically every conceivable threat (except floods and tsunamis because that's a drama situation) but instead, it relies more on spoofing popular movies of the time and making pointless pop culture references. The only "disaster" movie mentioned is 1996's Twister with 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. It's also misleading because the only superheroes who appear are Hulk, Hellboy, Iron Man, and Batman, and not even for too long!
- To make matters worse, most of the official parodied movies, like Hancock, Wanted, The Dark Knight, Sex and the City, Jumper, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, 10,000 BC, Speed Racer, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and Kung Fu Panda, had not even been released when they were writing the film's script so they literally based on footage from their trailers to get a basic idea of the movies. The viewer can easily notice this because the "parodies" of these films are basically the characters appearing on the scene (some for a very short time) and nothing else without mentioning their respective plots.
- 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 make.
- Speaking of which, the Enchanted Princess character is absolutely annoying since she does nothing but wacky and nonsensical stuff.
- The Enchanted Princess (Giselle which in case you don't know her name) in the original is so much better and has character development from being a princess in her own kingdom to become matured and a little bit serious in the real world. The reason why Giselle is a great protagonist was that not because of her dress but also her personality and charisma a well. Friendly, helpful, optimistic, and imaginative, that's her true self.
- Abysmal songs, including one about getting an abortion and another one about dating and sex. The "I'm Dating" (or "I'm F***ing") song is a total rip-off of the "I'm F***ing 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 each other (f***ing in the Unrated Cut).
- Poor audio editing. During the "Date song", Batman's guitar begins to play before the shot switches over to Batman.
- Some of the movies, like Alvin and the Chipmunks and The Love Guru, are already awful movies. What made them think that parodying horrible movies would make this one good?
- The costumes for Batman and Iron Man are terrible and look like cheap Halloween costumes. Iron Man looks more "Plastic Man," and Batman's costume has wonky ears for no apparent reason.
- Idiotic, unrealistic, and sometimes vulgar names, like "The Guru Shitka."
- Blatant product placement for Calvin Klein, Apple, and Chase.
- The scenes parodying the late Michael Jackson and Amy Winehouse aged very horribly because both celebrities died years later, making them extremely tasteless.
- Some of the costumes are pretty good, like the Enchanted Princess (Giselle) dress and the costumes for the Sex and the City girls, and Ike Barinholtz does a decent performance as a parody of Hellboy.
- The "HeadOn" joke is pretty funny.
- "Friends Forever" and the ending song are pretty catchy, despite the awful lyrics.
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)
- Superbad (2007)
- Wanted (2008)
- No Country for Old Men (2007)
- Juno (2007)
- High School Musical (2006)
- Cloverfield (2008)
- The Day After Tomorrow (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)
- Twister (1996)
- Iron Man (2008)
- Hellboy (2004)
- The Incredible Hulk
- 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)
- Kung Fu Panda (2008)
- The Love Guru (2008)
- Amy Winehouse †
- Justin Timberlake
- The Jonas Brothers
- Kanye West
- 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, for its forced humor, excessive pop culture references, and poor directing, with many considering it to be worse than the previous movies created by Seltzer and Friedberg. 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.