Movie 43, 2013
Directed by Elizabeth Banks, Steven Brill, Steve Carr, Rusty Cundieff, James Duffy, Griffen Dunne, Peter Farrelly, Patrik Forsberg, James Gunn, Bob Odenkirk, Brett Ratner and Jonthan van Tulleken.
Starring Kate Winslet, Hugh Jackman, Liev Schreiber, Naomi Watts, Anna Faris, Kieran Culkin, Halle Berry, Gerard Butler, Sean William Scott, Emma Stone, Richard Gere, Kate Bosworth and many, many more.
A series of interconnected short films follows three kids as they search the depths of the Internet to find the most banned movie in the world.
Movie 43 is a film that had a lot of hype late last year with a few red band trailers showing off the movies impressive cast list and promising the crudest and rudest comedy ever made. Then, suddenly silence. Movie 43 wasn't press screened and the reports coming out when people finally saw it were not good. 1 star reviews flocked movie sites with some critics in America and the UK calling it "the worst movie ever made". Well, I've now seen it and... well... I wouldn't go as far to say it's the worst movie ever made.
Like all anthology-based movies, there will always be segments that are good and segments that don't work as well. In the case of Movie 43, there are a fair few half-decent segments and quite a lot of poor ones but there are no stand out, laugh out loud segments that you could call a "highlight". The opening segment (The Catch) with Kate Winslet and Hugh Jackman does have quite a few laughs as does Super Hero Speed Dating which sees Robin's speed dating be sabotaged by Batman who is looking for the Penguin. For me the best of the whole bunch was Homeschooled which sees Liev Schreiber and Naomi Watts home school their son, but give him the traditional high school feel (bullying, angry P.E teachers and 'that first kiss'). While the pay-off of the segment was a bit of a dud, the comedy as a whole really worked for me. Victory's Glory, which sees Terrance Howard convince a basketball team that they're going to win the big game on the basis that they're black and their opponents are white is funny to begin with but the shtick gets old, much like the Truth or Dare segment with Halle Berry and Stephen Merchant. As I said, there are no real stand-outs that work 100% which does hurt the film.
Not every segment works and some of them are just plain naff. The iBabe gag isn't the least bit funny and The Proposition which sees Anna Faris ask boyfriend Chris Pratt to "poop" on her is simply juvenile for the sake of being juvenile. It's also astounding to see them have a segment with Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Chloe Grace Moretz and produce no laughs. It's so weird because the set-up is fairly humorous (two teenage boys freak out about their female friend getting her first period), but the laughs don't come. There's also a really odd segment after the credits called Beezel with Elizabeth Banks trying to fight off Josh Duhamel's obsessive cartoon cat which feels like it should be funny but isn't. Similarly, Happy Birthday has a good set up (Sean William Scott and Johnny Knoxville capture a Gerard Butler leprechaun for gold) but the comedy just doesn't click. Maybe it's because the segments weren't given enough time or maybe they were just rushed in to fill runtime, but there is something missing.
However the worst of them all is the wrap around that accompanies the film which sees two idiot stoners try to play a prank on one of their little brothers who then tries to look for the mysterious "Movie 43" only to get involved with terrorists, Armageddon, internet porn, insect and messages from the future. It's such a bizarrely unfunny turn of events that didn't really work and the incredible lack of star power compared to the other segments is baffling. Even more bizarre however is that the US release has a different wrap around which sees people pitching movie ideas and features Dennis Quaid, Greg Kinnear, Will Sasso and Seth MacFarlane. I have no idea why this wrap around wasn't included in the UK release as it sounds a lot funnier and it has the star power that the film is trying to capitalise on.
At the end of the day, Movie 43 is not the worst film ever made, not even close. But it is a sort of modern marvel in the sense that it has so much star power, so much talent and so many creative ideas but can only produce a mediocre comedy movie that just about passes the six laugh test. Some of it works, but the majority of it is just 'alright' and even when the film is trying to be puerile for shock value it doesn't quite hit the mark. Frankly, Movie 43 should have been much better than it is.
And to those who think this is the worst movie ever made, you clearly have never sat through Keith Lemon: The Movie.
Flickering Myth Rating - Film: ★ / Movie: ★ ★
Luke Owen is a freelance copywriter working for Europe’s biggest golf holiday provider as their web content executive. You can follow him on Twitter @CGLuke_o