Disaster Movie - Movie Review

  • 08 September 2008

Rating: 1 out of 5

Satan is a studio head. That's really all one can say before starting a review of Disaster Movie.

After breaking up with his gorgeous girlfriend Amy (Vanessa Minnillo), Will (Matt Lanter) throws a Super Duper Sweet Sixteen party -- even though he's 28. Along for the festivities are pregnant pal Juney (Crista Flanagan), best buddy Calvin (G. Thang), and his lady Lisa (Kim Kardashian). Without warning, the city is pummeled by asteroids, spoiling the fun and sending Will and his friends out into the streets. There, they run into an ice storm, a tornado, and various holdovers from the 2007-2008 movie season. When he discovers Amy is trapped in the local museum, Will vows to save her, as well as the planet. Of course, he must use the mystic powers of the legendary Crystal Skull to do so.

As expected, Disaster Movie is artless, humorless, and all in all worthless. It's the lowest form of comedic cunning (the obvious spoof), propagated by people who wouldn't know the first thing about funny business if Judd Apatow came by and farted in their face. Zombies are jealous of how readily so-called filmmakers Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer have cannibalized their commercial carte blanche. Instead of taking all the millions they made off the other awful examples of their (Insert Name Here) Movie template and putting it to proper entertainment use, they gather together a series of unrelated elements and pray that the pre-adolescent audience is too busy texting to pay attention.

When a slam at Pinkberry is your one and only laughing point, you know your screenplay is bereft of intelligence. Then again, no one ever claimed that Friedberg and Seltzer were scriptwriting geniuses. Instead, one can envision the pair seated in front of their feather light MacBook Air, Lionsgate contract, and several "social" beverages in hand, listing out the possible cinematic targets that have made an impact on the industry since the last installment of the series. Then they toss in some incredibly random celeb beats ("Amy Winehouse! Um... Wolf from American Gladiators!") and call it a payday. A big, fat, unwarranted, and unnecessary payday.

Nothing makes sense here: Not having Carmen Electra asexually wrestle Ms. Kardashian; not the appearance of Prince Caspian; not the flesh eating chipmunks, nor the nonsensical lifts from Night at the Museum. The guys even toss in an overlong High School Musical joke that might have worked had it not been so amateurish and obvious. Oddly enough, for a genre known for its gag-a-minute format, this film has more exposition and dead air than an NPR broadcast.

Yet the biggest sin committed by this ongoing assault to the parody genre is that Friedberg and Seltzer forget what makes a truly memorable lampoon. Airplane! wasn't just a series of last month's media notes. It actually used an entire category of film to formulate its farce. Indeed, from Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles (westerns) or High Anxiety (Hitchcock) to The Naked Gun (police procedurals) or This is Spinal Tap (rock and roll), the quality spoof has always been built out of something real and recognizable. What our dunderheaded duo attempt here is the kind of sloppy sketch comedy that makes the Friday series look like Monty-friggin-Python.

The end result is not just bad but painful, similar to having your wisdom teeth pulled without the aid of drugs, clean instruments, or an actual dentist. Maybe if the Juno material wasn't as overdone as Diablo Cody's own sense of self, perhaps if the elongated Enchanted sequences didn't choke on their own cheerlessness, we could tolerate the rest of this repugnance. Instead, Disaster Movie leaves one with a feeling of failure -- and the knowledge that, come this spring, these idiots will more than likely be back.

And may God have mercy on our everlasting, unamused souls.

There's not even any room for a Bristol Palin gag.

Image caption Disaster Movie

Facts and Figures

Year: 2008

Run time: 87 mins

In Theaters: Friday 29th August 2008

Box Office USA: $14.2M

Box Office Worldwide: $14.1M

Budget: $25M

Distributed by: Lionsgate

Production compaines: Grosvenor Park Media Ltd., LionsGate, 3 in the Box


Contactmusic.com: 1 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 1%
Fresh: 1 Rotten: 69

IMDB: 1.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer

Producer: Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer

Screenwriter: Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer

Starring: Matt Lanter as Will, Vanessa Lachey as Amy, Nicole Ari Parker as Enchanted Princess / Amy Winehouse Look-A-Like / Jessica Simpson Look-A-Like, Crista Flanagan as Juney / Hannah Montana, Gary 'G. Thang' Johnson as Calvin, Ike Barinholtz as Wolf / Javier Bardem Look-A-Like / Police Officer / Hellboy / Batman / Beowulf / Prince Caspian, Carmen Electra as Beautiful Assassin, Tony Cox as Indiana Jones, Tad Hilgenbrink as Prince, Nick Steele as Underwear Model, John Di Domenico as Dr. Phil Look-A-Like / Love Guru, Valerie Wildman as Samantha, Jason Boegh as Male Carrie, Kim Kardashian as Lisa

Also starring: Vanessa Minnillo, Jason Friedberg, Aaron Seltzer