Why does Movie 43 exist? The answer is not clear. A series of sketches held loosely together by three kids looking for the most banned movie in the world (named Movie 43) is the official synopsis. However, it appears to be an attempt to stretch five or six jokes across 90 minutes and pretend it deserves to be a feature film. YouTube is the correct environment for badly thought out, poorly executed short films and that is where the segments of Movie 43 belong – buried on the internet.
First off – the main narrative is pointless and terrible, the link between sketches is nothing more than filler. The attempt to add drama, with an escalating sense of just how bad the fictional Movie 43 could be, is embarrassing. None of the ‘jokes’ are funny and the acting is atrocious. Watching porn to put viruses on a laptop does not constitute a reasonable attempt at plot, never mind a funny one.
The sketches themselves do vary in quality (from very bad to bad) and some humour does prevail. Chloe Grace Moretz and Christopher Mintz-Plasse make the best of a segment on teenage troubles which provides the most laughs (two, maybe three). A charity appeal for children stuck in machines is the shortest and certainly the best sketch and Terrence Howard in a 1960’s set basketball sketch may be at its height chuckle worthy. Highlights are few and far between though.
A couple of laughs are not enough to save Movie 43 from languishing in offensive and disgusting ‘humour’. Racism, (partly cartoon) bestiality and incest are just three of the crudely imagined punch lines that differing segments employ. If pooping on someone is a joke you think should be stretched to 10 minutes then Movie 43 is your type of entertainment. Offensive humour is popular and a legitimate form of comedy but Movie 43 appears to have forgotten the ‘humour’ part.
Movie 43 suffers greatly from its repetitive nature. Each sketch has only one joke. Home-schooling is weird – 10 minutes. A man with testicles on his neck – 10 minutes. Customers overhearing a strange conversation about sex – 10 minutes. Even if miraculously one of these storylines raises a chuckle from you, it is soon run into the ground. An average bunch of 13 year olds could have created a film with more depth to its humour.
Sadly people, like me, will be suckered in by big names – Hugh Jackman, Naomi Watts, Kate Winslet – and an unsurprising lack of promotion. All involved should be embarrassed and it is sad to see such star power fall so low. Hopefully youngsters such as Emma Stone made a rare misjudgement and more experienced hands such as Richard Gere turned up for a quick pay check. An explanation that is comforting if true. The outpouring of awful reviews will surely stop Movie 43 from inspiring further efforts that in anyway resemble it and also help keep audiences away.
I’d really like my money back.