Near the end of the trailer for “Epic Movie”, opening soon, someone (who is not Sacha Baron Cohen) dressed in Borat’s green super-thong looks at the camera and says, “Niiice.” What he means by this is, in fact, “This movie is a new milestone in anti-artistic, self-referential garbage.”
It’s possible, but not probable, that’s I’m just an out-of-touch curmudgeon completely unable to see any value in what “The Kids” are into these days. I don’t believe this to be the case, however, as I just watched an episode of MTV’s “The Hills” and, while it’s loathsome content left me pining for the days that MTV played videos (who didn’t see that criticism coming?), I still found it’s concept compelling. Documenting the dangerously petty lifestyles of Hollywood socialites is something I’m not sure even Steve Irwin would’ve been able to handle.
No, “Epic Movie” is wrong, wrong, wrong for a different reason. Watching a movie that makes a mockery of other movies, like Snakes on a Plane, Nacho Libre, or even X-Men: The Last Stand presupposes that the source material was not a mockery, something which cannot be said for any of those movies. In fact, seeing posters up around town of Pirate Captain Jack Swallows [sic] running from cannibals only suggests to me, “Look! We cannibalized a bunch of movies!” Do they think they’re being clever by making a funny movie by taking scenes from other funny movies? Like someone will think, “What a great idea! Just take other peoples’ great ideas!”
You can’t spoof a spoof. You look stupid trying.
That won’t keep people from going to see it, and even laughing at some parts, but I meant what I said about it being a milestone. Movies cost money and Hollywood has long since stopped being anything other than a business, if it ever were. The concept of “franchises” is not unique to the silver screen, though they perhaps exploit them most overtly. Wade through all the marketing and the thinking comes down to this, “Why take a chance on a movie people have never seen before?” It seems that “Epic Movie” has decided to take that question (which already turns my stomach) quite literally.
“Epic Movie” is a symptom of a much larger problem, like many things that suck are. Our mental space, just like our physical, is being knowingly polluted, for profit. It’s easy to see when raw sewage is being dumped in your backyard. It’s not as easy when the same waste is being dumped straight into your conscious or sub-conscious mind. I’m not willing to commit one way or another on whether projects like “Epic Movie” are systematic efforts to reduce the range of thought of which we’re capable, but some sort of decolonization needs to happen internally—and hopefully then spread to our theaters.
Seriously, this thing looks like an SNL episode.