Congratulations Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer.
The creative team behind the worst movie of 2006 (“Date Movie”) and the second worst movie of 2007 (“Epic Movie”) has reached a new low with the aptly titled “Disaster Movie” - the new frontrunner for worst film of 2008.
This film (and I use that term loosely) is nothing more than a 90-minute barrage of unfunny jokes without the hindrance of a pesky plot or character development to get in the way.
At this point of my review, I feel obligated to tell you the basic story of “Disaster Movie” but there is just one problem with that - there is no basic story. Instead, the film is just a series of skits that try to parody pop culture and other, much better films.
The list of movies referenced (I can’t even say parodied, because that would imply that there was humor involved) includes: “Iron Man,” “Sex and the City,” “Enchanted,” “Cloverfield,” “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” “The Incredible Hulk,” “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” “Speed Racer,” “Juno,” “Kung Fu Panda,” “10,000 B.C.,” and the yet to be released “High School Musical 3.”
Sadly, the full list probably is close to 100 - which is the major problem with Friedberg and Seltzer’s work (they co-directed and co-wrote the screenplay, although I’d be shocked if the original script wasn’t written on a paper towel in some bar). It’s one thing to have a parody that references other material. That is why films like “Airplane,” and “Scary Movie” work.
“Disaster Movie” uses the other material and just recreates it - making this feel like a never ending “Saturday Night Live” sketch.
Fortunately, it appears as if the public is starting to catch on to the fact that Friedberg and Seltzer are hack filmmakers. After solid debuts for “Epic Movie” and “Meet the Spartans” (which is the closest thing to a good movie this duo has ever done), “Disaster Movie” grossed a disastrous $6.95 million its opening weekend.
With that said, it appears as if Friedberg and Seltzer have another “movie” in the works. Here’s hoping it gets stuck where it belongs - somewhere deep in the bowels of development hell.
DVD dandy of the week
This week’s dandy is “The Forbidden Kingdom” (B-), the entertaining action/adventure that features the martial arts dream pairing of Jet Li and Jackie Chan.
“Forbidden Kingdom” tells the story of Jason (Michael Angarano), a kung fu-obsessed American teen who makes an extraordinary discovery in a Chinatown pawnshop and is whisked away to an ancient Chinese kingdom where he is asked to join a band of warriors (including Chan) to free the imprisoned Monkey King (Li).
If you have ever seen an action movie, “The Forbidden Kingdom” won’t tread any new ground. Still, it works in spite of its predictable nature, in large part due to the work of Li and Chan - who both seem to be having a good time in their respective roles.
Director Rob Minkoff also has a good sense of pacing and is able to take advantage of his two stars’ talents in some elaborate, but quite fun action sequences.
“The Forbidden Kingdom” is rated PG-13 for sequences of martial arts action and some violence and will be available on DVD on Tuesday.