| In “Epic Movie”, Edward (Kal Penn), Peter (Adam Campbell), Lucy (Jayma Mays), and Susan (Faune Chambers) are four orphans who all come into possession of a golden ticket that earns them a chance to visit a chocolate factory for, “an epic adventure”. Once there, the four realize they are in danger. While escaping Willy (Crispin Glover) they come across a wardrobe that leads them to the land of Gnarnia, where they are supposed to fulfill a prophecy and defeat the evil White Bitch (Jennifer Coolidge).
The storyline is a deformed blend of films like “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, “The Chronicles of Narnia” and “The Da Vinci Code”. Whenever the screenwriters (Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg) get stuck coming up with another quip, they pull creativeness from “Nacho Libre”, “Snakes on a Plane”, “X-Men”, “Mission Impossible”, and “Click”. Other movies worthy of only a passing moment include “Hustle & Flow”, “Star Wars”, “Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift”, and “Talladega Nights”. The plot does not make a lot of sense, but then, no one will be attending “Epic Movie” in hopes of a captivating plot.
In “Epic Movie” there are plenty of opportunities to pack a satirical punch. It felt as though the writers took these opportunities for granted. There are moments when you'll catch a glimpse of something great. More frequently, though, the typical scene was repetitive and over-the-top. The “Nacho Libre” and “Snakes on a Plane” sequences lack substance and do nothing for the original material other than cast it with characters who resemble the originals (but with much less appeal). The film lacks the perspective needed for effective satire as the filmmakers seemed to be at a loss of ideas about the films they were dealing with. They simply present them to the audience in a ridiculous fashion with a fart joke, rude word, or a hit on the head.
The problem with “Epic Movie” is the writer’s intent on delivering on the most noticeable reference to other movies; there’s very little actual ingenious humor, perceptiveness or satire found in the movie. Unfortunately, the few small moments of amusement are buried underneath over-the-top comedy of errors. When in doubt, the filmmakers resort to having their characters break into dance. Because to moviegoers, there is nothing funnier than watching Jack Sparrow (Captain Jack Swallows played by Darrell Hammond) break into a hip-hop routine.
The reason and method of satirical parodies was lost by the filmmakers in this movie. In a good satire the scenes are not just re-shot with different actors. Satire should have something to say and should be expressed both entertainingly and with deliberate emphasis. Unfortunately, this film fell short and its filmmakers seem to have lost the ability to translate the humor in a satirical way.
Maleah Moran, Entertainment Spectrum