May 9, 2017
Epic Movie (2007) (part 6 of 11)
Peter comes out of his daydream, convinced he’d make a lousy hero. The beaverbot reminds them that this is their destiny, and they weren’t brought together by chance. “Look at the clues, they’re all around you!” Don’t wait for a Usual Suspects-type reveal of all sorts of story elements hidden around Tumnus’ apartment. It’s not coming. Instead, Lucy notices a picture of the Last Supper. A close-up shows all four of the orphans are in the painting, standing right behind Jesus. This is a neat trick, because in the long shot, it’s just the regular painting—Jesus is alone at the vanishing point, just like everybody learned in whichever college class they mentioned that in.
Meanwhile, Kal Penn has slipped off, probably in search of another Superman Returns reference.
Lucy asks what it means, and one of the Apostles in the painting comes to life and answers that they’re all related—brothers and sisters. He adds an exasperated, “For Christ’s sake!” This causes Jesus to roll his eyes. According to my research, the talking Apostle is Judas, and please don’t ask me why I bothered to look that up.
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The Beaver 3000 fills them in some more. They’re quadruplets. The White Bitch murdered their parents, and split them up to try to disrupt the prophesy. Bad planning, White Bitch. Next time, just kill them. Have we learned nothing from Austin Powers?
Cut to an icy background. It’s the White Bitch’s throne room, and it looks about as good and about as useless as in the real movie. The Bitch sits there doing nothing as Penn comes walking in and calls jauntily, “Honey, I’m home!” This causes Bink to hit him in the nads with a baseball bat, which is always funny. Penn falls to the ground because, I would imagine, of the intense pain.
The would-be queen asks where the others are. For some reason, only now does Penn process the fact that she doesn’t care about him. I’m not sure why he picks this moment to have that revelation. All she said was, “Where are the others?” How did he get from that to “I’m just not that into you”?
He petulantly whines that he thought they had something special. It seems he even got a tattoo with her name on it. He turns around and lifts his shirt to reveal the tattoo, which is a huge number 50. The queen is unimpressed, because it’s 50 Cent’s tattoo. Penn is upset because he “did the wrong one.” Once again, a joke is always funnier when you explain it. When you explain a joke, it is always funnier. Funnier is a joke when explain it you do.
The White Bitch, getting mad, stands up and demands Kal tell her the location of the rest of his family. He whines that they’re not his family. But the White Bitch has something to show him: a framed picture of him and the other three as toddlers. Of course, it’s a silly looking photo with big, adult heads pasted onto little two year old bodies.
Seeing the photo causes Penn to instantly turn against the Bitch, and he spits out that he’ll never tell her anything. What the hezmata is the White Bitch doing here? If she wants Kal to betray the others, why would she pick this moment to reveal that they’re siblings? Wouldn’t her goals be better met by doing exactly the opposite of that? It’s like she wants to fail. If I were her, I’d talk to my therapist about my tendency to self-sabotage. And also about my strange dream involving P. Diddy as a goat. What was that about?
Realizing that Plan A has collapsed, the White Bitch calmly moves to Plan B. Guess what the “B” stands for. She undoes her bodice thing and rips it open to reveal her breasts. This is shot from behind, of course, so we don’t actually see any nudity, even in the unrated version. However, I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing.
Penn, entranced, smiles goofily and casually admits the other three orphans went to Mr. Tumnus’ house. He then realizes what he’s done, and covers his mouth in shame.
Before anybody can do anything, “Ashton Kutcher” jumps out with a camera crew and informs Penn he’s just been punk’d. It really comes out of nowhere. How many OxyContin are required to make that transition bearable? The answer is three. Three OxyContin.
The Ashton Kutcher lookalike is hopping around, flailing his arms, and hyperventilating at the brilliance of this punking. It’s similar to the real Ashton Kutcher, only with the dials cranked up from his normal 11 to roughly 9,680.
His catch-phrase here is “Schwow!” He says it several million times, while he has an epileptic seizure about how great he is, how his trucker hat is awesome, and how he “did it” and we’ll just have to “take it”.
In fact, we have taken it. Justin Timberlake did almost exactly the same impression (except funny) on Saturday Night Live back in 2003. That was over three years before this movie came out. Note to writers: check with sober people to see if you really thought up an idea, or if you’re just remembering something from SNL. I have this belief that somewhere in their office, Seltzer and Friedberg have a script they wrote called “Samurai Cheeseburger”.
The Kutcher-Thing won’t leave Penn alone, tickling his ribs and insisting he’s been punk’d. So Kal punches him in the face multiple times, declaring, “You are so annoying!” And I’m sorry, writers, but you can’t have it both ways. You pushed an Ashton Kutcher impression on us—you don’t get to then declare it intolerable. I, and only I, will declare it intolerable.
And the bit won’t end. Penn beats him mercilessly. Every punch elicits a “Schwow!”, but Kutcher refuses to go down. After a total of seven punches, Kutcher finally falls to the ground. Looking up at Kal, he makes this kitten clawing gesture and weakly bleats out one last “Schwow.” I can’t believe I’m watching this. I feel betrayed by comedy. I once shook Sid Ceasar’s hand. That used to mean something.
The White Bitch calls for “Silas”, and the worst possible thing happens—the black albino monk from the Da Vinci Code segment reappears. It’s an exciting time for me, however, because he never got a name when they were actually spoofing Da Vinci Code half an hour ago. Now we learn that, as Silas, he has the same name as the Paul Bettany character from the real movie. So, I get to drink. And after the Punk’d bit, I need it.
Silas is looking angry. He’s still whipping himself as his queen tells him the “kids” are with Mr. Tumnus. How many ways is this line wrong? According to Harry Beaver, the White Bitch already has Mr. Tumnus. Penn only said they were at Tumnus’ “krib”, not actually with him. So, she completely misunderstood the information, and did so in a way that contradicts what she already knows to be true. Honestly, if I were a resident of Gnarnia, I would seriously consider casting a protest vote for a third party candidate.
The queen commands Silas to find and kill the orphans. He responds, “Persona non grata. Magna cum laude.” Which actually means, “An unwelcome person. With maximum honors.” But the screen displays the following horrifying words: “Fo’ sheezy White Beezy.” Do you think the writers thank their dealers in the credits?
Silas now produces a leather paddle. He wants the Bitch to spank him before he goes out a’killing. With an eye roll, she does so, causing him to make these weird Pig Latin noises of ecstasy: “Oogay,” whatever that means. The subtitles translate it as follows: “Beat me like Bobby beats Whitney (allegedly).” It might have been funny if the directors had gotten hold of a time machine, and released the movie when that joke was relevant. Instead, the movie came out three years after Bobby Brown was arrested for domestic abuse. I can’t stress this enough, people: Throw out your Entertainment Weeklys when you’re done with them. Otherwise, you’re just going to get yourself confused.
Grateful for the pain, Silas hobbles off. He literally shuffles away, and I guess it’s because his tushy hurts, even though you’d think a zealot like Silas could take a paddling. After he’s gone, Bink leads Penn away to a jail cell. Why Penn goes without a fight, or what happened to Ashton Kutcher and his camera crew are never explained. All things considered, that’s probably for the best.
The three orphans and the beaver are now wandering through the woods shouting for Kal Penn. This, by the way, is exactly what you want to do when clandestinely moving through enemy territory. In any case, it’s fun to see the beaver rolling along, and it might even be on a stand mounted to the camera. There’s movement in the brush, so the beaver raises his arm and declares happily, “Mr. Tumnus!” So, Tumnus did escape. It would’ve been nice to have known this earlier, when the queen was talking about him.
Tumnus and Harry have a tearful reunion wherein they embrace and… begin French kissing.
Tumnus tells them that the White Bitch has Kal Penn. So, wait, when exactly did Tumnus escape? The Bitch knew he was already gone in the previous scene, and yet Tumnus knows that Penn is at the castle, being held against his will? The two things are mutually exclusive. They cannot both be true.
Lucy still finds the news distressing and cries out, “We must rescue…” Tumnus slaps her mid-sentence, shouting, “Get a hold of yourself, woman!” Do I even need to point out they did this in Airplane! 27 years ago, and they did it much better?
When Tumnus reminds them that the Bitch will kill them if they’re caught, Peter panics. He screams, “Let’s get the hell out of…” and Susan slaps him. Still an Airplane! joke. And they still did it better in that movie.
Their only hope, Tumnus says, is to go see the lion. And I pause the movie to slap my head in disbelief. The beaver told them this already. So what was the point of deviating into all that puppet exposition? You know, I think Seltzerberg wrote exactly one draft of this script and called it a day. I bet they didn’t even bother to go back and spell-check.
At this point, Lucy pushes Susan out of the way so that she, too, can punch Peter in the face. The Comedy Rule of Three having been fulfilled, we move on.
Harry Beaver says he’ll meet up with everyone later, and takes off. He doesn’t give a reason. I assume it has something to do with the directors not wanting to pay the puppeteers overtime. I, for one, am glad. Ever since I was a boy, I’ve been distrustful of robots.
Next comes a sequence in the movie that I like to call “Were We Not Supposed to Notice?” It starts with everyone hearing the berserker cries of Silas coming to attack them. Tumnus tells the three to go quickly to the mountains to train. Peter, who you will remember is a coward, doesn’t hesitate to run off, but the girls are too concerned for Tumnus to leave.
Silas and his crazy “Ay-yi-yi-yi” cries are getting closer. Tumnus bravely tells the three that he’ll stay behind and fight the guy off. “No matter what, you must not come back for me!” The girls show more concern than Peter, but eventually, they all leave. If this seems familiar, it’s because it’s from Splash, where Eugene Levy vowed to hold off the US Army to buy Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah time. Were we not supposed to notice?
Silas comes charging out of the woods, waving his arms in vaguely karate-like motions. Tumnus shouts, “Stop!” Silas, for no earthly reason, stops.
“If you want them,” Tumnus challenges, “you’ll have to go through me first!” This is less than intimidating, especially seeing as how Silas could just run right past him. What he does, however, is pull out a gun and shoot Tumnus. And that’s from Raiders of the Lost Ark, released 26 years earlier. Were we not supposed to notice?
The gunshot causes Tumnus to cry out in agony. Cut to the three orphans hearing his cries in the distance. Peter reminds them that Tumnus willingly sacrificed himself, and wanted them to go on. Tumnus begs, “Peter, if you can hear me, come back now!” Silas shoots him again, and Tumnus calls out, “I definitely underestimated the situation!” Silas shoots him a few more times. “I’m in a lot of pain!” It gets sillier:
Peter: We can’t go back! We have to… we have to do what’s best for Edward and for Gnarnia!
Tumnus: Screw Gnarnia! [gunshot]
Peter: He’s… testing us! [gunshot]
Tumnus: This is not a test! I can see my brains! [gunshot]
Tumnus: Screw Gnarnia! [gunshot]
Peter: He’s… testing us! [gunshot]
Tumnus: This is not a test! I can see my brains! [gunshot]
Yeah, it’s stolen from Austin Powers. Were. We. Not. Supposed. To. Notice?
And not concerned at all about Tumnus is Harry Beaver, who never comes back. He just left thirty seconds ago. He must be close enough to still hear Tumnus. And see him. And possibly shake his hand.
Having once again fulfilled the Comedy Rule of Three—this time, as in three stolen gags we weren’t supposed to notice—we move on.
Peter reacts to the stress of this the same way we all would: He begins clucking, sprouts chicken wings, and dances away into the snowy woods. The girls shrug their shoulders and follow him. I’ll say this much—this bit is not stolen from a classic movie. It’s actually stolen from the acid trip Seltzerberg were on while they were typing up the script.
There’s one last shot of Silas. He tells Tumnus, “Et tu, Brute,” and fires what appears to be a fatal shot directly at the camera. The subtitles happily translate this phrase as, “I’m Rick James, bitch!” Once again, the writers have confused reality with something they saw on TV. “I’m Rick James, bitch,” is not something Rick James ever said. It’s a catchphrase from Chappelle’s Show. God knows why the writers would purposefully remind viewers that Dave Chappelle is funnier than they are.