I’ve never before considered giving a film zero stars. Normally I believe in never going there for any reason (since movies generally are still made with good intentions and are only meant to please) and receiving the half star rating for only the most blatantly atrocious works that are insults to humanity. I’ve never yet been compelled to go that low with a review while at The Awards Circuit. No evidence in recent cinematic history has ever driven me to that point. Well, ladies and gentlemen…I’ve found Exhibit A. Movie 43 is frankly among the worst things I’ve ever seen, and I briefly considered going down to zero. Dear readers, I’ve never given a lower rating to a review than I am here. A “comedy” made up of one unfunny skit after the other that’s all the worse because of its inexplicable star-studded cast, it really defeats the purpose of a review. All I can do here is list the culprits of this crime against cinema and make sure their names are here for blame to be assigned. I usually try to avoid mean reviews, as you all know…but I’m making an exception here. If there’s any worse films still to come in 2013, I’ll have to seriously re-evaluate my profession. At a certain point, it’s just not worth it. Yes, ‘Movie 43’ has even made me question my love of film and passion for criticism. I had this to say immediately after seeing it:
‘Movie 43’ has convinced me that either there is no god (since nothing this bad should ever be allowed) or that there must be one and that this is some sort of punishment. I just can’t decide which.
I stand by those words, so that should really tell you something.
The less you know about this piece of garbage the better (since please don’t even contemplate seeing this movie), but here’s just a taste of the segments viewers subject themselves to. Besides a wraparound device that tries to give reason for these scenes (it’s the movie a psychotic screenwriter is pitching to a studio exec), we have a blind date that involves a scrotum in the wrong spot, a music player than mangles genitalia, a couple which has the woman hoping the man will defecate on her, and a truth or dare session unlike any you’ve ever seen before? Not convinced this is terrible yet? Well, we also have a family homeschooling their kid in a way even Rick Santorum wouldn’t approve of, a leprechaun talking dirty, a cat with a vendetta against the woman dating his master, and the overreactions of a bunch of men to a teenager getting her first period while hanging out in their home. There are others too, but to think about it any more would just depress and anger me. They’re all just crude, racist, and sexist. Done properly, almost all of the segments could have been funny, but damn if not one of them came even close to that short marker.
How the film managed to pull in these stars is a testament to blackmail, not the passionate spirit of its creators. The actors and actress somehow roped into this dreck include Elizabeth Banks, Kristen Bell, Halle Berry, Kate Bosworth, Gerard Butler, Bobby Cannavale, Common, Kieran Culkin, Josh Duhamel, Anna Faris, Richard Gere, Terrence Howard, Hugh Jackman, Greg Kinnear, Johnny Knoxville, Justin Long, Seth MacFarlane, Aasif Mandvi, Jack McBrayer, Stephen Merchant, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloë Grace Moretz, Dennis Quaid, Chris Pratt, Liev Schreiber, Seann William Scott, Emma Stone, Jason Sudeikis, Uma Thurman, Patrick Warburton, Naomi Watts, Kate Winslet, and Snooki. Even for the ‘Jersey Shore’ star, this is the low point of everyone’s career. Hard to believe, right? Well, it’s true. I admire George Clooney so much more now, considering that he not especially politely passed on associating himself with this flick. The same goes for Colin Farrell. I tip my cap to these wise gentlemen, as they were spared from this absolute train wreck.
The directors of this atrocity are Elizabeth Banks (who also has the misfortune of appearing as an actress as well), Steven Brill, Steve Carr, Rusty Cundieff, James Duffy, Griffin Dunne, Peter Farrelly, Patrik Forsberg, James Gunn, Bob Odenkirk, Brett Ratner, and Jonathan van Tulleken. They’re joined in blame by writers Steve Baker, Will Carlough, Jacob Fleisher, Patrik Forsberg, Matt Portenoy, Greg Pritikin, Rocky Russo, Jeremy Sosenko, and Elizabeth Wright Shapiro. None of them do anything short of atrocious work, and to even pretend otherwise is folly. I suppose that Gunn’s segment is the least bad of the group, though it’s among the most stupid. I did laugh once at van Tulleken’s fake commercial that’s a PSA for small children inside machines, but I’m plenty ashamed of myself for it.
There are no words to do Movie 43 justice. Easily among the dozen worst films that I’ve ever seen, it’s burned into my retinas and I’m seriously considering surgery to correct that. I hate having to be mean to a movie that honestly is just trying to be funny and raunchy, but something this sick and terrible needs to be put down. I consider it a social service to warn the villagers against this crap. If you think that you need to see this flick, can I please instead suggest some form of BDSM torture? Even if you’re not into that sort of thing, it’ll still be a far more pleasant experience…
–Thoughts? Discus in the comments!