Movie 43 Movie Review
A collection of random shorts that focus mainly on idiotic male behaviour, this portmanteau comedy is only occasionally amusing, never making anything of its astonishing cast. Frankly, we spend most of the time wondering how the filmmakers lured these A-listers to appear in these pointless, nasty little films. And while the premises have potential, not a single one has a decent punchline.
As a prank, two teens make up a banned online film called Movie 43. While their brainly little brother searches for it, he runs across a series of clips that mainly focus on awkward vulgarity between the sexes. Bitter exes (Culkin and Stone) have a rude exchange that's broadcast on a supermarket sound system. Pratt is shocked when his girlfriend (Faris) asks him to "poop" on her, and agrees because he loves her. Parents (Watts and Schreiber) homeschool their teen son (White) with the goal of showing him how excruciating life will be. Two pals (Scott and Knoxville) kidnap a leprechaun (Butler) who's reluctant to give them his gold. And a 1950s basketball coach (Howard) tries to convince his players that they're winners because they're black.
Others are dating scenarios: Winslet goes on a blind date with a guy (Jackman) who has testicles on his neck; Berry and Merchant play an increasingly deranged game of Truth or Dare in a Mexican restaurant; a pre-teen (Bennett) can't cope when his young date (Moretz) has her first period; Batman (Sudeikis) messes up Robin's (Long) attempt at speed-dating; Banks struggles to cope with her new boyfriend's (Duhamel) obsessive cartoon cat. There are also a few random advert spoofs, including one for the naked-woman shaped iBabe, which leads to trouble for the company CEO (Gere).
There's the germ of a good idea in every segment, including a solid joke in each set-up and some underlying themes in racial, gender and sexuality issues. But nothing is properly developed into something that's either clever or funny. There is the odd moment that catches us off guard and makes us laugh (such as a group of men panicking about menstruation), and the most amusing thing about each clip is the way these Oscar-calibre actors play everything so straight-faced. So in the end, we may find the riotous wrongness of everything mildly entertaining. Until it turns into another cheap, ugly gag.
Cast & Crew
Screenwriter : Steve Baker, Will Carlough, Patrik Forsberg, Matthew Alec Portenoy, Greg Pritikin, Rocky Russo, Jeremy Sosenko, Elizabeth Wright Shapiro
Starring : Halle Berry, Elizabeth Banks, Jimmy Bennett, Gerard Butler, Bobby Cannavale, Kieran Culkin, Josh Duhamel, Anna Faris, Richard Gere, Terrence Howard, Hugh Jackman, Johnny Knoxville, Justin Long, Stephen Merchant, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Chloe Grace Moretz, Liev Schreiber, Seann William Scott, Fisher Stevens, Emma Stone, Jason Sudeikis, Uma Thurman, Naomi Watts, Jeremy Allen White, Kate Winslet