Epic Movie (2007) (part 9 of 11)
Quick cut to Kal Penn, forlorn, sitting in his cell. The way they shot this, I thought it was going on while Aslo was in bed with the multicultural siblings. But it seems it’s actually some time later, because the guards are suddenly attacked by Fred Willard. He’s bare-chested, in fur pants, making claw hands and being overdubbed by a lion. The guards just run away in terror because, as noted, they never actually received any training.
Aslo laughs triumphantly, but the music turns dark, and our old friend Silas comes around the corner to challenge him. He says something in Latin which gets translated as “I’m gonna go Jackie Chan on your ass.” The weird thing is that the actual Latin he speaks is finally something religious: “In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti.” Those raised in the movie Mystic River will remember this means, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” Strange time for his character to start making sense.
Aslo roars on his own, without SFX help, and he sounds like he’s passing a kidney stone. And guess what? For no real reason, Also is now getting his own subtitles. These translate his roaring as “Good news, I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance.”
Now their doubles fight. I’m pleased to inform you that the use of stunt doubles is actually the point of the joke for once. The way I can tell is that instead of Aslo, they show several close-ups of stuntman Arnold Chon. It’s just Arnold, wearing a blond wig and gold sweatpants. They’re not even furry sweatpants—just gold. Of course, this would be much funnier if we hadn’t already been asked to ignore an entire movie full of silly doubles and, occasionally, dolls. It would also help if this joke hadn’t been stolen from Spaceballs.
It’s a huge kung fu battle, with lots of flying kicks and Hong Kong-style sound effects. Aslo pulls off a chunk of Silas’ hair. Silas turns to show he’s pulled off a bit of Aslo’s fur. This makes Fred Willard go white and cover his privates in embarrassment. For the record, his costume has not changed at all. Nothing private about him is exposed, thankfully, so I have no idea why he’s reacting this way.
Then it’s back to the kicking and punching. Also’s getting the worst of it. He’s down on the ground when Silas comes running to deliver the finishing kick. Bad plan on his part, however, because just like in every kung fu movie ever made, Aslo hits him in the mivoks when he opens his legs. Then he breaks Silas’ neck. Really. Just like an action star. Fred Willard.
Silas having been defeated, Aslo calls out to the orphans, and the three come running out from around the corner. And this seems like a dangerous mission to bring them along on, especially considering they were completely useless, but I guess that’s just the way Aslo rolls.
They pull open the door to Kal Penn’s cell, and he blinks into the light and recognizes Peter, Lucy, and Susan. To his credit, the first thing he does is ask them to forgive him. “We already have,” Peter tells him. “We’re a family now,” Susan agrees. “We’re a family now,” Lucy ruins it. They all hug.
Aslo is unimpressed. “Have your Dr. Phil moment later,” he informs them in that delightfully uninspired tone Fred Willard was obviously able to hit upon in the first take. The four run off, just as Aslo senses something behind him. He turns and the White Bitch is standing right there. “Goodbye, Aslo,” she says as she swipes at him with her staff. He screams and the screen goes dark. Jennifer Coolidge and Fred Willard, everybody—half the cast of Best in Show, and they still couldn’t make this thing funny.
The four orphans walk back to camp. Aslo was with them when they left, and he isn’t with them now, so you’d expect to see some sadness on their faces. Instead, nobody acts like anything is wrong. How do they not notice they’re missing Fred Willard? At the very least, the lack of overpowering Old Man Smell should have been a clue. Also, Kal Penn is now dressed as Narnia Native Kal Penn. So, what, did they bring a change of clothes for Kal with them?
The four wander into camp, completely clueless, and are puzzled by the long faces that greet them. Peter asks what’s wrong, and Harry Beaver reappears to inform them, “He didn’t make it.” Three of them are saddened by the news. Lucy is just freaked out by a talking beaver. She runs up and kicks it, and Harry goes flying into a tree. It’s kind of like when Yoda got tossed against the wall by Palpatine and I thought, “Oh, they threw the puppet.”
Harry moans, “It’s hard out here for a beaver!” This reminds me of Hustle & Flow, which I assume was the directors’ intent—and their only intent—so I guess they succeeded. Harry complains to Lucy, “You forgetful bitch, I already met you!” Jayma Mays continues her streak of being my favorite member of the cast by answering, “I know.”
With that vital exchange of dialogue out of the way, Harry gets to the exposition. “Aslo never came back. The White Bitch killed him.” How did Harry find out about this before them? They were right there when it happened!
Harry produces a newspaper with the headline “White Bitch Attacks Tomorrow”. Wait, they have a free press in Gnarnia? I don’t think you can really say the place is all that bad, then. It’s got the edge over North Korea, at the very least.
Peter is ready to give up. Harry rallies them the way only a beaver robot can. “We have you! You are the future kings and queens of Gnarnia! It will be an honor to fight for you, my lords!” This is the Gnarnia political system, you see: wait impotently until four idiots show up, and then follow them. I’ll admit, it’s a better setup than the Electoral College.
Now everybody in camp gets on board. “We’ll fight for you,” says a Robin Hood looking guy with several followers in green. A hun-looking guy with his own followers agrees. I think we’re supposed to infer a backstory here between the Robin Hood guys and the hun guys. I think we can also infer that whatever that backstory is, it’s more interesting than this movie.
Then all of the X-Men show up, including Mystique and Magneto. They’re now wearing black “leather” outfits, that kinda sorta look like the movie versions of their costumes.
Magneto, still with the big horseshoe magnet on his helmet, tells Peter they believe in him. Then every metal thing in camp goes flying, and nails Magneto in the chest, and a large iron kettle smacks him in the head and knocks him unconscious. It’s just like a cartoon, in that it’s stolen directly from a cartoon.
All of this completely unearned support has energized Peter. “Tomorrow we fight,” he announces confidently, “So tonight… we party!”
Quick cut to a raucous nighttime party scene. It’s complete with a professional band up on stage, with huge speakers and electric instruments. Wait, they have electricity here?
“Hello, Gnarnia!” the band leader shouts. Hello, band leader! He’s Jesse Hughes, and the band is the Eagles of Death Metal, playing “Don’t Speak” from their album Death by Sexy. You can tell the band is basically dressed the way they showed up for filming that night, except someone has pinned elf ears onto two members of the band.
The crowd is now pretty huge. Hey, that’s what happens when you tell your friends that they’re invited to a free concert in the middle of the night somewhere outside of LA.
Lucy, Kal Penn, and the crowd are encouraging Susan to “chug” as they stand over a keg. I hear this is a great way to prepare for battle. I’m reminded of Henry V’s immortal words: “We would not seek a battle, as we are. Nor, as we are, we say we will not chug it.”
Susan refuses to drink, saying she wants to keep a clear head for the battle. But Lucy tells her to “loosen up for once.” When has Susan not been loosened up? Was it when she was having sex with a half-man, half-lion that she just met?
Susan relents and agrees to have “just one.” She then calls two guys over who have a beer bong, and she begins to drink a massive quantity of beer.
In a quieter part of the camp, Carmen Electra unfortunately reappears. Mystique has found Edward drinking alone in contemplation. She says that him being the King of Gnarnia is “so hot,” and leads him into a private tent. Carmen’s costume, by the way, has not gotten any better. Nor has her acting. But I’m sorry to say, she really didn’t deserve to be nominated for a Razzie for this, because she speaks maybe fifty words in the whole movie.
Back to Susan and her responsible drinking. She finishes off the beer bong to the enthusiastic cheers of the professional extras, and she’s proud of her accomplishment. Until, that is, she begins to projectile vomit all over everyone and everything. It’s disgusting. Just because you have a length of tubing, a pump, and 15 gallons of Quaker Oats doesn’t mean you have to create a scene around it. Or extend said scene another minute on the unrated DVD.
Meanwhile, Mystique throws Peter down on the bed and begins kissing him. She seductively tells him, “I’m a shape changer.” Yeah, I think we knew that, Mystique. “I can change my form into anything.” Well, I guess it’s good to know she doesn’t have to be an animal, or something made of ice. Because then this superpower would just be stupid.
So here’s what Peter wants: bigger hooters. This is accomplished via air bladders under Carmen Electra’s costume, and of course, it’s a terrible effect. Peter also wants her to have a ghetto booty, and that’s accomplished via more air bladders. And then Peter demands she give herself a monobrow. This might sound pretty disgusting, but let’s recall this is a guy whose last sexual encounter was with his own sisters. And Fred Willard.
Peter also wants her to have “big, flabby grandma arms.” As a married man, let me just say that you may as well wish for these, because eventually you’re going to get them anyway. Peter calls them “bingo wings”, and I’ve never heard this particular expression before, but that’s not enough to convince me it’s original.
To round out the scene, Mystique gets tremendously fat and flabby and, in fact, becomes a different actress entirely. For some reason, they have Fat Mystique wag her tongue to that wubba-wubba sound effect, and then she starts to get it on with Peter. It’s astonishingly unsettling, which is quite a different thing than “hilarious”, but I’m not sure which of the two they were going for.