A sloppily slung together anthology film starring Hugh Jackman and Kate Winslet
Movie 43 is as star-studded as it is puerile and therein lies its solitary appeal. With directors including Peter Farrelly, Brett Ratner and Elizabeth Banks, it’s an anthology that’s sloppily slung together, combining spectacular immaturity with staggering ineptitude. This is not so much a car crash as a motorway pile-up.
Movie 43 comprises eleven segments (plus several fake advertisements), all of which fail to find the funny bone. Hugh Jackman plays a man whose testicles dangle from his neck, who dates a horrified Kate Winslet; Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber are nightmarish home-schoolers; Emma Stone and Kieran Culkin talk dirty in a supermarket; Johnny Knoxville and Seann William Scott beat up a leprechaun (Gerard Butler); and Halle Berry and Stephen Merchant take part in a series of escalating dares. These shorts are tenuously united by the (similarly mirthless) antics of three teenage boys who discover the clips online whilst searching for the most controversial movie of all time.
That Movie 43’s numerous writers and directors haven’t produced something cohesive is hardly a surprise but the real shocker here is the absence of anything resembling a half decent gag. Furthermore it squanders the talents of some of American’s finest comedic stars (including Patrick Warburton, Bobby Cannavale and J.B. Smoove), while reminding us that others (Richard Gere) wouldn’t know funny if it repeatedly hit them in the face with a frying pan. Given the structure and overarching storyline, Movie 43 comes across as a pretty pathetic attempt to elevate the practice of trawling YouTube to the big screen. And, as its apocalyptic ending seems to suggest, if this is the future of film-making then basically we’re all doomed.
General release from Fri 25 Jan.