Some films make a point for that old phrase that “too many cooks spoil the broth”, in the case of this ensemble comedy however, there is no broth to even spoil. 18 writers, 13 directors, multiple Oscar-nominated actors and yet there is nothing. Movie 43 goes from internet-aided comedy to short film saturated mess. Still, long before this, the audience will be all too aware Movie 43 exists (unlike the characters) and many may just be questioning the good Lord above as to why. This film, despite its star-laden cast, has already become “that” movie of 2013, the one that’s getting so many bad reviews that it has to be seen to believe how bad it is. Is Movie 43 the worst film ever? Perhaps not, but it’s a bona fide contender for the worst film of 2013 and one of the worst of this young decade.
In the UK, the plot has differed, with the main plotline here revolving around three clichéd and unlikable young characters, whereas in America this catastrophe’s main plot involved a screenwriter’s pitch and starred Dennis Quaid. Whatever the version, it wouldn’t make any difference. Movie 43 is the single biggest wastage of talent ever to be seen in a cinema. Across this flimsy, stupid and unfunny main plotline are 11 constantly monotonous shorts (12 in the US!), each starring a selection of willing stars but a woeful script.
Movie 43 is gross, offensive and vile but that is the point, the problem is it is never funny. Be it Hugh Jackman’s testicle sight gag, the Gerard Butler leprechaun hurting, period bloodletting or the explosive shitting, this film is lowest common denominator comedy. The worst thing, perhaps, is that the film recycles gross out gags from countless other films and stretches certain skits to unbearable lengths. The film thinks of itself as Tropic Thunder with the odd faux trailer short throughout but Movie 43 is just a quality flop. Literally any flicker of an idea is quashed in an instant.
It has be one of the most mis-worked comedies currently in broad circulation and, despite a cast who appear to be enjoying themselves, the question has to be asked – what were they on when they all signed up? Each director categorically fails to muster much momentum in a film that could be called cancer of the funnybone. Each short is flimsily and tirelessly worked in and the whole idea appears to be that big stars make a film. Even the soundtrack is forgettable. In fact, while watching, many will fail to recognise one shred of value here at all. All that can be said for Movie 43 is that its makers didn’t do 43 shorts and that it will probably develop a following (of sadists no doubt).
When all is said and done and despite the efforts of a cast, whose characters are either detestable or indifferent, this is just bad. Movie 43 is a sordid lovechild of Freddy Got Fingered and Hollywood; the results are a diseased soul-sapping creature intent of starving the screen of laughs for 90 minutes (and it feels like double that). Worse still, it’s a monster that is after your hard-earned cash. Kill it, ignore it or just deny it and hopefully nothing like this will ever happen again.