Apr 25, 2017
Epic Movie (2007) (part 4 of 11)
Okay, the Wonka thing is over. It cross-fades to Peter rubbing his “W” brand. So, according to Seltzer and Friedberg, a skin burn is permanent, but head removal heals in a matter of seconds. Everybody mark your papers accordingly!
Our four “children” are sequestered in a dank, old bedroom. I don’t know how to describe the room except to say that you should imagine an old country estate in England circa World War II. Imagine the kind of place where four children might have been sent to live during the Blitz. Am I making this clear enough?
Lucy is hard at work rubbing a rag on the handle of a door. She explains that Willy told her he wanted his knob polished. Okay, but did he do that before or after he killed her? Then, the epic dumbasses who wrote this nonsense return to the idea that Lucy is so stupid that she’s incapable of anything more than repeating Susan.
Susan: We’ve got to get out of here.
Lucy: We gotta get out of here.
Susan: I just said that.
Lucy: You just said that.
Lucy: We gotta get out of here.
Susan: I just said that.
Lucy: You just said that.
In fact, it appears that they’ve decided to make this the character development scene. The orphans share the fact that they each have nowhere else to go. Susan claims she raised herself, to which Lucy says, “That’s why you have such a tough exterior and you’re kind of bitchy.” First of all, we have no evidence that Susan is tough. After all, her head came off with just one kick. Second, for someone who’s supposed to be bitchy, she’s really taking this comment quite well. Third, the writers just gorram showed us Lucy was too dumb to form complex thoughts. I guess no character is ever too retarded to meet the need for exposition.
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Kal Penn has figured out why Wonka is after them: “We’re four kids nobody would miss!” And this is the point at which I passed out. None of them—zero—came by their golden tickets honestly or deliberately. Lucy got hers from a vending machine, and Peter got his from an unnamed high school student. And when you think about it, the other two people in the room should be Paris Hilton and a Mexican monk. And people might not don ashes and sackcloth if Paris disappeared, but I’m sure they would at least notice. Whoever works the door at Hyde, at least, would probably alert someone.
More character building, as Penn shouts that Peter is “not my father!” Peter flinches, showing himself to be a coward. I realize I’m supposed to care about this stuff in order to appreciate later story developments, but I have a very hard time believing this will pay off in a satisfactory way. Ever.
And now the four of them have a fight where they break things over each other’s heads. It eventually ends when Peter explains that to survive, they must stick together. And then Lucy hits him with a lamp. That sentence reads funnier than the scene, by the way.
Willy calls out menacingly to the orphans. They all race around looking for somewhere to hide. Except for Lucy, who spins around in a circle four times. That’s the kind of information that just needs to be repeated. Lucy spins around in a circle four times. Why does she do this? We’ll never know, because Lucy herself decides that her plan needs revamping. She takes off down the hall, and enters a room that, oh goodness me, I don’t know exactly how to describe.
For the sake of convenience, I’ll call it the “wardrobe room”, or maybe “the room that looks exactly like the wardrobe room from Chronicles of Narnia, right down to the smallest detail, because the true essence of satire is just copying”.
I’d just like to state for the record that I like Jayma Mays, the actress who plays Lucy. But this part was obviously not written for her. It was clearly meant for Anna Faris, who starred in all four Scary movies, and worked with Seltzer and Friedberg. But it’s called show-business, not show-hang-out-with-potheads, so after she started to get real work, she “lost” Seltzerberg’s phone number. In response, they just went out and got somebody who looks like her. But it seems Jayma Mays, too, is already moving on.
Oh, and on October 28, 2007, Jayma and Epic Movie co-star Adam Campbell got married. I can’t find a source for this, but it appears likely that they met on the set of this very movie. So, you see, every silver lining has a touch of grey. Or something.
Fine, fine, the wardrobe room. Lucy approaches the wardrobe, which is accompanied by a growing swirl on the soundtrack, because we actually need help remembering to be amazed. She opens the door and… a whole bunch of junk tumbles out and buries her. I know, it’s stupid. The junk includes a suitcase, a carton of eggs, golf clubs and an entire, intact wedding cake. It also includes a girl in a bikini, who takes time to warn Lucy, “Whatever you do, don’t go in there!” And she says it in the worst, most stilted and least natural way possible. She’s Playboy Playmate Audra Lynn, and if you watch the unrated version of Epic Movie, she does this scene without the bikini. Oh, the scandal!
After Audra clears the shot, Lucy enters the wardrobe. She wanders past fur coats in true Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe fashion. A plastic garment bag reads, “Warning: may cause suffocation. Keep away from dipshits!” And I can’t figure out how the bag is hanging there. It’s not over a coat. It isn’t even hanging from a hanger. Thus, I call shenanigans.
After a brief wrestling match with the plastic, Lucy enters a forest, just like in Narnia. Here, several branches smack her in the face. Ha ha ha. The branches hit her in the face. Get it?
Lucy ends up face down in the snow. She’s also now wearing a very short blue flowered dress. It’s a modest, if confusing, improvement. The winter wonderland she discovers can only be described in the following terms: exactly like Chronicles of Narnia. They even have the lamppost. But in this version, Lucy chooses to greet the lamppost by licking it. A perfectly rational decision, right?
Her tongue immediately becomes frozen to the post, because it’s a 90 minute movie and we really need to spend two minutes on this. She panics for a while (and does so even longer on the unrated DVD). Luckily, Mr. Tumnus is there. It really is Mr. Tumnus, half-man and half-goat, just like in the real movie. Tumnus’ costume, by the way, is at least as good as any ever created in a basement by a church youth group.
The faun determines that the best way to help Lucy is to pull at her violently. Lucy goes flying back onto the snow, holding her mouth in pain. Cut to the lamppost and… ugh… a big chunk of her tongue is still stuck to it, jiggling back and forth. The movie helpfully adds that wubba-wubba sound effect that usually accompanies rubbery things. Foley artist Zane D. Bruce, you are now my enemy.
Feeling somewhat responsible, Mr. Tumnus apologizes. “My bad,” he says. Except he actually says, “My ba-a-a-ad,” because, you see, he’s half-goat. It seems the writers were too high at the time to remember they originally saw Jim Breuer doing this joke on Saturday Night Live 11 years ago.
Tumnus tells Lucy that she’s now in Narnia. But he points to a sign, and it turns out the name of the place is spelled “Gnarnia”. Lucy marvels at the fact that the G is silent. Tumnus admits it’s “for legal purposes.” Of all the jokes in the entire movie, this one annoys me most. You see, the sad truth is that despite being an all-around swell guy, I, dear reader, am also a lawyer. I know for a fact that there’s no reason (legal, or otherwise) that Narnia has to be changed to an alternate spelling. And I can prove it: Mr. Tumnus’ name in this movie is still Mr. Tumnus. How can it be necessary to change one and not the other? The answer is: It can’t.
Lucy asks what it means to be a faun. Tumnus admits with some shame that “dad screwed a goat.” He then shows her a picture of his parents, and it’s a guy in a tie being licked by a goat. It would be a funny visual, if not for the fact that it only repeats the verbal joke they just told a second ago.
Lucy says that both of her parents were human, and Tumnus finds this so gross he almost gags. But right after that, he becomes very excited and happy at finding a “daughter of Eve”. Why? Because the writers need him to be. He’s horrified, he’s delighted, he’s bipolar, so long as he does his part to advance the plot. God help you if you paid for this DVD instead of going the more sensible route of having it misdelivered by Amazon like I did. (Yep, I got a package that was actually meant for a neighbor, which is how I came to own Epic Movie. Believe me, I’m doing him a huge favor by not returning it.)
Tumnus offers to show Lucy around. To point her in the right direction, he head-butts and then kicks her. Either this is almost funny, or I’m very tired. It’s definitely one of the two. Getting to the door of his cave-house-thing, Tumnus says the five words that, if there were any justice, should trigger the apocalypse: “Welcome to my faun crib!”
This triggers the title sequence to MTV Cribs, right in the middle of the movie. But there are two exceptions: 1) the computer graphics are significantly cheaper than the real thing, and 2) Cribs is spelled “Kribbs”. For legal purposes, I’m certain.
There are bullet points on the screen, in which we learn that the place has three bedrooms, three baths, a motor court, and an eating trough. It’s also located in “Gnarnia Hills, California”. I count three jokes in fifteen seconds, none of which are funny. It’s like a cannonade of nothing.
Despite the fact that I’ve already said, “Oh, MTV Cribs. I remember that,” the sequence refuses to end. Now Tumnus is showing us around in fast forward, all rack focus and quick cuts. It’s like the hookah sequence in Zoolander. His place has walls of stone and furniture of dark wood, but if there’s a joke in the decor, I don’t see it. Tumnus’ krib looks considerably nicer than the house I’m currently living in.
Oh, wait, here comes a joke: Tumnus says he always keeps Cristal on hand for when Diddy visits. Then we slide over to “Diddy”, who’s a half-goat version of Sean Combs. Tumnus throws Goat Sean Combs a bottle. It hits him on the head, knocking him unconscious. You know, this movie reads like my dream journal. “Goat Diddy felled by 750 ml btl. Ask about in therapy.”
Now Tumnus—we’re still inside the Cribs rip-off, by the way—wants us to meet his honeys. The camera swings over to a huge Jacuzzi, around which are several exceedingly hot women. They’re all fully (and quite blessedly) human, except for their large goat ears and some silly facial hair. The ladies stroke their soul patches seductively and lick their own ears. “Hey,” you may ask, “can I see more of these women on the unrated DVD?” Why, yes. Yes, you can.
“Hey,” you may also ask, “what would Scarface look like if Al Pacino’s character was half-goat?” I like the way you think. Luckily, Tumnus is about to show us a clip of this. But first, he insists that to be a “player”, one must have flat screen televisions everywhere. Including in the bowl of his toilet. The toilet bowl TV shows the faun version of Scarface, while a stream of urine splashes the screen. I swear, I’ve seen funnier snuff films.
And now comes a joke so offensive that I’m going to ask any female readers to just think about kittens for a few seconds, and skip to the next paragraph. Tumnus tells us that a good place for a flat screen TV is “on the top of her head.” A woman in a bikini kneels down in front of him. Then there’s a shot of her from above, with Scarface playing on a TV in her hair. Her mouth hovers at his crotch… but she’s really just shining his hooves! Oh, Seltzer and Friedberg, how can you be so successful, and still so angry about prom?
Aren’t kittens fluffy? Now that we’ve seen his krib, Tumnus tells us to “get the hell out!” He slams the door on the camera. Unfortunately for all involved, the directors have positioned another camera inside, and so the action continues.
Tumnus pushes Lucy out of his house. But it’s exposition time, so he first hands her a high-tech Mission: Impossible camera thing. It plays a video of Tumnus giving her a little briefing. Since Tumnus was standing right next to Lucy when he gave it to her, I’m not sure of the point of this.
Pointlessness noted, Video Tumnus informs Lucy that the White Witch has standing orders that all humans be brought to her. Except, in this movie, the White Witch is called “the White Bitch”. You know, I’m really starting to appreciate the haphazard way characters might or might not have the same names as the ones they’re spoofing. I think I could make a drinking game out of it. In fact, I think I will. But as always, kids, please don’t try this at home.
Digital Tumnus informs Lucy exactly why the White Bitch is so bad: wire taps, her disapproval of gay marriage, and her poor handling of the hurricane relief effort. You know the problem with political humor? No shelf life. But nobody taught the writers this, of course. I know this because they then march a Kanye West impersonator on-screen to complain that the White Bitch doesn’t care about black people. And you know, Kanye made that remark in September 2005, which was an entire sixteen months before Epic Movie was released, so it’s fair to say it’s ancient history at this point. The best that can be said about this entire segment is that at least the Kanye impersonator is not half-goat.
The tape self-destructs before Lucy has a chance to get rid of it. Naturally. Just like every other Mission: Impossible spoof you’ve ever seen. It explodes, and a mannequin dressed like Lucy is sent flying, while Jayma Mays screams, “Ahhhhh!” from the safety of an ADR studio.