Epic Movie (2007) (part 5 of 11)
Back at the manor, Kal Penn is looking for Lucy. Wonka is still calling out to him menacingly, so I don’t know why Penn decided to stop hiding. Let’s just assume he has a good reason that probably rhymes with “the plot requires it”. Penn finds the wardrobe, which is now closed with all of the junk gone. I think it would have been funny if the wedding cake were still sitting on the floor, but I’m not in charge of the movie. If I were, Kal Penn would have been played by John Cho.
Kal begins making his way to the back of the wardrobe. He gags when he smells one of the coats. Then he asks, “Who lives here, Liberace?” And… I don’t understand that joke. I can’t even figure out what it’s supposed to mean. Is it the smell? Did Liberace wear lots of old, brown, fur coats? I’d ask him, but he’s been dead for 21 years. So, that joke was both completely incomprehensible and completely outdated. Way to go, writing team.
Next, Penn gets hit in the face repeatedly by tree limbs. I do get that joke, because it’s the same thing that happened when Lucy came through. I’ve had eight minutes to get ready for it.
He stumbles into the Gnarnia snow, and is now dressed in a brown sweater, knickers, and big wool socks pulled up to his knees. So, now he’s dressed like Edmund from Narnia, even though his name in the movie is Edward. Everybody take a drink!
The sound of a motor catches Kal’s attention and he looks beyond the tree line to see… something… coming towards him.
Rocketing towards him is a big, red, horseless sleigh. Despite the engine noise, it has no obvious means of propulsion. The White Bitch is in the back of the sleigh, and a small, black dwarf is in the driver’s seat. He’s driving really angry from behind what looks like a regular sports car dashboard, except he’s propped up way too close to the steering wheel for safety.
He sees Penn and stands on the brakes. This causes the sleigh to stop in one of those 180-degree skids they always have on cop shows, or Beastie Boys videos. As the sleigh comes to a halt, we see that the license plate says “DRIFT”. I think this a reference to The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. But since I refuse under any condition to see that movie, I’m not sure.
And the dwarf turns out to be veteran dwarf actor Tony Cox. He’s been in everything from Beetlejuice to Friday. His biggest star turn was probably in Bad Santa, but get this—he got his start playing an Ewok. How great is that? An Ewok! He was also in Spaceballs as one of the Yogurt’s dinks. I don’t know if that’s why his name here is “Bink”, but nothing else makes sense. His character’s name in the real movie was Ginaarbrik, which doesn’t sound like Bink at all.
Penn stares transfixed as glorious music plays. The most beautiful and enchanting vision in white emerges from the sleigh. It’s Jennifer Coolidge, one of the few legitimately funny people in this movie. And she’s about to do one of the few legitimately funny things in this movie. As she alights from the carriage, she gets her fat ass stuck and flails around like a tuna. She’s a foot off the ground, and her legs are kicking uselessly in the air. Penn promptly ruins the moment by saying, “Whoa, Stifler’s mom!” And if there’s anybody who should not be pointing out that an actor is famous for one and only one role, it’s Kal Penn.
The White Bitch finally wriggles free, and she and her midget approach Penn. Bink greets him by punching him in the junk. He commands, “Kneel before your queen!” The Bitch calls Penn a “son of Adam”. Somebody really should have had a talk with C.S. Lewis about this. Why is it “son of Adam” and “daughter of Eve”? Wouldn’t “son of Eve” cover it just as well? Or maybe even “descendent of Adam”? I mean, why are we indicating gender twice? Has this become our Latin homework?
The spoof, the real movie, and the book all generally play out the same way here: In all three cases, the son of Adam exhibits a Oedipal fascination with the witch. She pretends to be nice to him. She then makes a drink appear by letting a drop of liquid fall on the snow. She offers to make him king and to be his queen, but first he must bring the others to her castle. This scene differs from the original in no significant way, which is really what you look for in your better parodies.
Well, they do include these four jokes: 1) the Bitch zaps her dwarf with her wand and sends him flying; 2) the drink that magically appears is a 40 oz of malt liquor; 3) the Bitch sucks on Penn’s finger at one point, causing it to throb and pulse, in yet another fellatio joke; and 4) when the Bitch points to her castle, they drop in a photo of an actual White Castle restaurant. Penn remarks that he feels like he’s been there before. Yes, this is our official Harold & Kumar reference! I’m actually willing to forgive it this time, for one reason and one reason only: Even genuinely funny movies do this. Even William Shatner saw the Enterprise in Airplane II: The Sequel. Keep in mind, however, that I’m only willing to forgive it this once.
Coolidge and Cox ride off in the motorized sleigh. Penn ambles around for a bit before bumping into Lucy. At the same moment, Susan and Peter come wandering into (G)narnia. So, we don’t get to see the two of them getting smacked around by tree branches? What a pity. Lucy warns them that they have to go back, but Penn stalls, just like this movie has been doing for the last twenty minutes.
Peter uses the lull in the action to urinate in the snow. But, of course. We were due for another peeing joke, anyway.
First, he spells his name in the snow. Then he says that he loves Sudoku, following which they cut to a half-finished Sudoku board rendered in the snow in yellow liquid. A yellow stream continues to fill out numbers. It’s solvable, by the way. I’m not saying it was me, but some geek spent eleven minutes working out the Epic Movie Piss Puzzle. Man, what a broomhead that guy is.
Susan and Peter are now dressed more like the children in Narnia, by the way. But it’s still pretty far from the costumes in the movie. Susan is wearing a criminally short black skirt, and if this were actually 1940s England, she would be taken for Prince Edward.
Peter finishes up his urine drawing with what is, according to him, a sketch of Nicole Ritchie. But it’s just a stick figure, so I guess the joke is that she’s thin. Huh. I’ve never heard that particular observation before, so I find it hysterical.
Then everyone follows Lucy to find Mr. Tumnus. Reaching his “krib”, they find the place destroyed and wonder what happened. It’s a lot like the book, in that it’s exactly like the book. They even meet a talking beaver here.
Unfortunately for this beaver, he’s working with some major handicaps. First, he was written by a pair of men who themselves are working with some pretty major handicaps. Second, they didn’t appear to budget for him. The beaver is a robot, and not a cool robot like in Short Circuit, either. You can actually count the moves this animatronic creation is capable of because: 1) there aren’t that many; and 2) you’ll be seeing a whole lot of each one of them. His arms go up and down, his body turns slightly, his ears move a little, and he can talk. He may have a neck, but I’m not sure. Other than that, you can actually see him wheeling into and out of shots on whatever radio-controlled car base they used to build him. And there’s no indication that the directors knew their robot blows harder than the Hall of Presidents, because everybody in the movie treats it like a real character.
There’s a lot of information to get across to our heroes in this scene. And that’s what we’ve come to here—puppet exposition. After scaring the hell out of everyone and briefly getting kicked through a window, the beaver lays down some major knowledge.
First of all, the beaver’s name is Harry. Harry Beaver. Yes, that’s the joke. Second, Harry is actually a gay beaver, and Tumnus was Harry’s life partner. He even has a picture of the two of them kissing to prove it. This means that all the hottie faun action earlier was just a cover, and Tumnus is actually on the down low. Well, he had me fooled.
Third of all, there’s lots of Narnia stuff here: A prophesy says the “orphans” will defeat the White Bitch and become heroes, and they have to go meet the lion at a stone table, blah, blah, blah. It’s a children’s book, for heaven’s sake. If you haven’t read it by now, I’m not going to sit here and explain the whole thing to you.
There are virtually no jokes during Exposition Hour, and it’s too depressing to recap the ones there are. That thing where Lucy repeats Susan’s line makes a reappearance, for no reason related to comedy. Also, Harry Beaver is voiced by black actor-comedian Katt Williams, who has this kind of streetwise slang thing going. As an ethnic stereotype, it’s not as offensive as, say, Eddie Murphy playing “Mr. Wong”, but combined with Tony Cox calling everybody “bitch”, it really makes you wonder just what decade the writers have been stoned since.
All this exposition about becoming heroes causes Peter to slip into a daydream. Probably the easiest way to form a mental picture of what’s on screen is just to focus on these words: the scene in Superman Returns where the bad guy on the roof shoots Superman in the eye. Except everything is cheaper. A voice tells Peter that he’s been sent to earth to be the savior of all mankind, and that he is “truly invincible.” It’s supposed to be a Marlon Brando impression, but it sounds more like Dana Carvey doing his Paul McCartney impression. The voice actor, by the way, doesn’t bother taking a credit. Good for him.
Familiar red boots land on the roof with a whoosh. The pan up reveals Peter in what would be a Superman costume, except the “S” is messed up (for legal purposes, I’m sure), and the costume is so heavily padded that Peter looks more like Hans and Franz than the Last Son of Krypton.
The bad guy is already holding a handgun straight out at eye level as SuperPeter approaches. He fires from about a foot away, and it’s all super slo-mo, with the bullet emerging from a cloud of fire and smoke and traveling straight ahead. I have to say the effect looks good, even compared to the same effect from the actual movie. I’d really like to see the final production budget for this movie. I mean, this is what they spent their money on? Their beaver looks like it was put together from a K’Nex set, but they have the funds for bullet time?
But there’s no stopping to be angry about the effects, because it’s time for the laziest joke in the movie. In Superman Returns, the bullet hits and bounces off Superman’s eye without bothering him in the least. So, of all the things about Superman to make fun of, do you know which one Epic Movie picks? Did you guess that the bullet enters SuperPeter’s eye, and causes him to scream like a little girl and hop around in intense pain? Of course you did. How this movie failed to take home the Palme d’Or, I’ll never know.
Oh, and if you remember, Kal Penn was actually in Superman Returns. Guess how much nothing is ever made of that.