"The only thing "epic" about it is that the movie ends."— Matthew "Film Brain" Buck
Epic Movie is a 2007 American comedy, parody film directed and written by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer and produced by Paul Schiff. It was made in a similar style to Date Movie, Friedberg and Seltzer's previous film, but as a spoof of the "Epic" style of films, hence the name. The film mostly references The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the Harry Potter films, Tim Burton's version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Pirates of the Caribbean, and X-Men. The song "Ms. New Booty" by Bubba Sparxxx gained commercial attention for being featured in Epic Movie.
Despite being a box office success, the film was widely panned by critics and moviegoers, and is considered to be one of the worst films of all time.
"Four orphans (named Lucy, Edward, Susan, and Peter) have an incredible adventure in a spoof of blockbuster and fantasy films. They visit a bizarre confectioner's chocolate factory and enter a mythic realm in which they must help a wise but lusty lion rid the land of a witchy woman known as "The White Bitch"."— Official Description
The film opens inside the Louvre museum in Paris, with Lucy, an orphan, finding her dying adoptive father, a museum curator, on the floor. As her father's perpetrator Silas, an albino, approaches her, he gives him the secret code by breakdancing before he dies. This leads to Lucy finding a chocolate bar inside a vending machine, coming complete with a "Golden Ticket" that invites her to Willy's chocolate factory. The next orphan is Edward, who is the oldest one living in a Mexican monastery. He is tossed out of the orphanage for claiming to be superior to the other orphans, but before, he finds a Golden Ticket. The third orphan, Susan, is on a flight to Namibia to meet her new adoptive parents, but suddenly, numerous species of snakes begin to terrorize the plane. She is kicked out of the plane and lands at Paris Hilton, crushing her before finding a Golden Ticket inside her purse. The fourth orphan is Peter, a student at the Mutant Academy who is often bullied for his "chicken wings" superpower. He finds the very last Golden Ticket, hidden inside a school locker.
The four orphans are taken to the chocolate factory and are greeted by Willy, who reveals to them that he plans to use their body parts as the secret ingredient for his candy. After getting tortured and dismembered, the four are locked in a room and try to find a way to escape. Lucy finds a wardrobe that teleports her into a wintry forest in the magical realm of Gnarnia, where is she greeted by Mr. Tumnus, a faun (half-man, half-goat). Tumnus invites her to his crib and warns her of the terror of the White Bitch.
Why It's Not Epic
- It's filled to the brim with atrocious gross-out jokes, racist jokes, gay jokes, sex jokes, fat jokes, and fart jokes. In one scene, Susan, after drinking too much alcohol, starts barking and doesn't stop for a very long time. (It's even longer in the Unrated cut)
- Speaking of which, the unrated edition (known in the United Kingdom as the "Rude & Crude Unseen Version") itself is possibly worse than the original PG-13 theatrical cut, with more swearing, pointless nudity, and unfunny jokes.
- Somewhat more irritating, while the unrated version has the Samuel Jackson look-alike saying "motherfuckin" snakes as he does in the original film, the theatrical cut was censored to have him say "goddamn" snakes, making the reference make no sense!
- Even then, the Unrated version still retains some censorship, such as censor bleeps during the "Lazy Pirate Day" song. Shouldn't they be allowed to say full-on cuss words for the unrated version?
- More than parodies, the film is full of blatant plagiarism as the plot of the movie is set within the stories of the targeted films. Instead of satirizing its premises it just copies scenes (or the entire movie itself) from the films and fills them with awful jokes.
- EXTREMELY unlikable characters. For example, Lucy is a dumb and childish character with a lisp who constantly does stupid stuff (like putting her tongue on a frozen lamppost).
- Many of the film's "parodies" aren't well researched.
- For example, in one scene, Mystique is portrayed as a member of the X-Men, even though she's one of their enemies (First Class would portray her as a former student of Charles Xavier, however).
- Some of the jokes are even stolen from other comedies. The Borat parody, for example, is literally the same joke from the original film, just with one word changed, while the Wolverine parody flips off Peter with his middle claw, which the real Wolverine already did in the first X-Men movie. As Film Brain put it: "Look guys, there's a difference between parody and plagiarism! THEY'RE NOT THE SAME THING!"
- What makes matters worse is that this movie features a brief parody of the James Bond film Casino Royale, which wasn't even released when this film was written and filmed!
- Some of the jokes are spelled out to the audience. In the unrated cut, when the White Bitch announces her plan to use a weapon of mass destruction to destroy Gnarnia and create a new continent, her minion Bink tells her that it's basically the same plot as Superman Returns, making fun of the movie's own unoriginality.
- Very poor production values, just like Friedberg and Seltzer's other movies. Every set in this movie looks really fake, especially the snow-covered parts of Gnarnia (a parody of Narnia, but with a silent "G"), the prison at the White Bitch's castle, and the city background in the Superman Returns parody where you can tell it's an obvious green screen.
- Cheaply made and ugly costume design, particularly for Davy Jones and Mr. Thumnus. The Stormtroopers, especially, look more like plastic Halloween costumes.
- The storyline is horrendous and the synopsis claims that the film "tackles the biggest mega-blockbusters of all time" which doesn't tell anything about the actual plot.
- This synopsis is also misleading because the film only parodies popular movies from 2005 and 2006 (being dated in release since it came out in 2007), if we were talking about the biggest epic blockbusters of all time then they should have parodied movies like Star Wars, Titanic, Jurassic Park, Jaws, Indiana Jones, Terminator, The Godfather, and Lord of the Rings.
- The film's parody of Nacho Libre was completely pointless and nonsensical since Nacho Libre was already a comedy, as FilmBrain said in his review: "You can't make fun of something that's already funny!" The same can be said for other parodied movies like Borat, Snakes on a Plane and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The only reason these movies were included is that they were popular.
- While the parody Superman Returns scene is funny, it was very unnecessary, it adds nothing to the plot and it comes off very forced and without context. In fact, the entire scene was shown in the trailer so you can tell the directors only made this scene for it in order to promote the movie as a popular film of the time.
- The pacing is atrocious and despite the film being only 85 minutes long (the unrated version is 93 minutes long), the film feels much longer than that and a lot of the scenes feel like they drag on.
- None of the "cameos" (celebrity impersonators) in this movie are funny, nor do they even have a point whatsoever. And most of them are only there so that the audience can say "Oh, I know who this character is/I know who these characters are!". For example, the "cameo" of Paris Hilton is completely pointless since there's not even a joke and just acts like herself.
- Brainless and immature humor.
- For example in one scene where the main protagonists visit Willy's chocolate factory, Edward starts consuming the factory's chocolate river, which Willy informs him that it's actually a sewage line. So, Edward was consuming excrement this whole time. (The scene is a bit longer in the Unrated edition).
- In another scene, the drunk and pregnant Hermione Granger parody says that the Harry Potter parody likes to show off his sorcerer's stones (as a metaphor for testicles).
- There's also an annoying running gag in which Lucy mimics Susan every time.
- Unrealistic, dumb, childish, and even inappropriate names, such as "Pervertski", "Harry Beaver" (a pun of hairy beaver), "The White Bitch" and "Captain Jack Swallows".
- Continuity errors everywhere (eg. Susan gets her head kicked off by Willy, yet it's reattached with no explanation in the next scene, Lucy gets her tongue ripped off by Mr. Tumnus, yet it's back in her mouth with no explanation in the next scene).
- Some really stupid ideas include the cannibalistic Willy (a parody of Willy Wonka) and the vulnerable Super Peter (a parody of Superman).
- The Mystique sex scene has tons of flaws.
- Mystique refers to herself as a "shapechanger", when it's supposed to be "shapeshifter." Was it really too much to ask for the correct term?
- Peter asks for bigger breasts and a larger booty, which is done via air bladders, which is an extremely terrible-looking effect.
- When Peter asks her to transform into a flabby fat lady, we aren't even shown her transforming! It just cuts to a different shot and she's suddenly a fatter actress!
- And just to show how little they cared, Peter is shown drooling, but when it cuts to them kissing, his drool is suddenly gone.
- Zoophilia/Bestiality in a PG-13 movie. Mr. Tumnus in this movie, who is a faun (half-human, half-goat), is the "life partner"/has a homosexual relationship with Harry Beaver.
- Way too many pop-cultural references. In one scene where Mr. Tumnus is showing his crib, he says "Look at my Plasma!" when referring to his TV (except it's a Sharp).
- The ending is just ABYSMAL. After the heroes get crushed by a wheel, during the credits, the PG-13 version shows scenes of dancing actors, including a parody of V from V for Vendetta wearing a Michael Jackson mask while the unrated version shows outtakes for 15 minutes.
- Abysmal songs such as the "Pirates of the Caribbean" rap (known in the film's soundtrack as "Lazy Pirate Day"), which rip-offs the Lazy Sunday song from Saturday Night Live. The film is not even supposed to be a musical!
- Despite being called "Epic Movie", epic films aren't even in this.
- As Film Brain pointed out in his review, epic films are movies like Ben-Hur, The Ten Commandments or Lawrence of Arabia. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Superman Returns and Harry Potter would be more accurately described as blockbusters, Borat, Nacho Libre and Snakes on a Plane are comedies, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a family film and The Da Vinci Code is a mystery thriller.
- In Germany, the film is called Fantastic Movie, which sounds self-praising.
- Lots of blatant product placement (Such as Doritos, White Castle, Cap'n Crunch, and Gorton's Fish Sticks).
- Pointless moment where after Lucy opens the wardrobe and she is buried in a bunch of stuff, a girl wearing a pink bikini (nude in the unrated cut) comes out of the wardrobe for no reason whatsoever. In the original PG-13 cut, she says to Lucy "Whatever you do, don't go in there!" while in the unrated cut, she doesn't say anything.
- False advertising:
- The poster shows Carmen Electra as a sexy version of Hermione Granger from Harry Potter, but she actually plays Mystique from X-Men in the movie.
- Despite being advertised as a major spoof in the movie, the parody of Superman Returns is really short and was even shown in the trailer (where Peter, as Superman, gets shot in the eye) after this happens, Superman doesn't appear again making it more of a sketch than a parody of the film.
- The characters of Borat and Paris Hilton were also very advertised in the posters but they literally have seconds of screentime.
- The posters, and even the DVD cover, gave the impression that Pirates of the Caribbean will be the main parody and Jack "Swallows" the main character (because Edward appears in the background as a secondary) when The Chronicles of Narnia is the actual main parody. Also, the Jack "Swallows" actor in the poster is not the same as the movie
- Poor special effects. For example, in the scene where Peter imagines himself being Superman when a thug shoots him in the eye, the gun slide never goes back as it is supposed to.
- Terrible acting, especially Tony Cox and Kevin Hart. In fact, Hart went uncredited, so you can tell he's ashamed of this movie.
- Horrible direction by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer.
- 20th Century Fox was smart enough to not put their name in the opening or on any promotional material, such as trailers and posters, which is good, since if it did, it might've tarnished their reputation.
- The Harry Potter portion of the story does somewhat resemble satire.
- The Superman scene, despite being very unnecessary, is actually funny. It would've worked if it had a context.
- Ms. New Booty is somewhat catchy.
- Good acting from Kal Penn and Adam Campbell.
- Despite many of the costumes and outfits looking like bad cosplay, Carmen Electra's Mystique outfit looks surprisingly good (even her fatter transformation still looks surprisingly solid), with many even stating it looks better than Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique makeup in Dark Phoenix.
- Some funny moments are here, like Willy dancing to Fergalicious.
- The idea of a Chronicles of Narnia parody is decent, and it isn't completely awful here. However, the overabundance of references and gross-out humor ruin the execution.
- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)
- The Da Vinci Code (2006)
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
- Superman Returns (2006)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
- Nacho Libre (2006)
- Snakes on a Plane (2006)
- X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
- Borat (2006)
- Click (2006)
- Casino Royale (2006)
- Mission: Impossible III (2006)
- V for Vendetta (2005)
- A Christmas Story (1983)
- Scarface (1983)
- American Pie (2000)
- The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)
- Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004)
- Get Rich or Die Tryin' (2005)
- Hustle & Flow (2005)
- Talladega Knights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006)
- Enter the Dragon (1973)
- Star Wars
- Saturday Night Live
- MTV Cribs
- Mortal Kombat (1992)
- Samuel L. Jackson
- Paris Hilton
- Puff Daddy
- Kanye West
- Flavor Flav
- Ashton Kutcher
- Mel Gibson
- Michael Jackson†
Epic Movie grossed over $86.9 million worldwide against a budget of $20 million, making it the highest-grossing film to be ever directed by Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, despite being torn to shreds by critics.
Epic Movie was universally panned when it came out. On Rotten Tomatoes the film has an approval rating of 2% based on 66 reviews and an average rating of 2.33/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "A crude comedy with nothing new or insightful to say about the subjects it satirizes.". On Metacritic, the film has a score of 17 out of 100 based on 17 critics, indicating "overwhelming dislike". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "C-" on an A+ to F scale. The film has a 2.4/10 on IMDb.
The film got nominated for three Razzie Awards (Worst Supporting Actress, Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel, and Worst Screenplay). The film however won Worst Movie at the Golden Schmoes Awards.
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