Movie 43 (review)
I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): looks like the arrival of the Idiocracy to me
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
Oh, this is adorable! Apparently Hollywood was having a “Bring Your Kids to Work” day, and they let the munchkins write their own little scripts and let ’em run wild with the cameras. Well, I say “munchkins,” but it’s pretty plain from what these kids did that it was more a “Bring Your 12-Year-Old Son to Work” day… I guess just to maintain the typical gender balance in Hollywood.
Still: how sweet is this? Because look at all the superfamous grownups who indulged the kids! Kate Winslet, Richard Gere, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Liev Schreiber, Naomi Watts, Kieran Culkin, Emma Stone, Justin Long, Uma Thurman, Bobby Cannavale, Kristen Bell, John Hodgman, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Anna Faris, Patrick Warburton, Gerard Butler — this is not an all-inclusive list! Yet they were good sports and went along with what the kids gave them to do, even though you know they had to have been rolling their eyes and laughing to themselves about what their tween boy writer-directors wanted them to do. Because, hey, the next generation of artistes must be nourished.
Ya gotta admire the cleverness of these kids to lash together all their individual little films under the notion that a couple of teenaged boys — who would be older than the filmmakers, remember, so there’s an aspirational aspect to this — are searching the Internet for “the most dangerous film in the world,” the mysterious “Movie 43,” rumored to be so horrendous that no one can watch it and live. And along the way they “stumble upon” all the little films these budding Farrellys made, films that are generally acknowledged — by dint of the Internet firewalls the characters have to jump through to get to them — to be pretty “badass” and “fucked-up” and “offensive,” even.
My oh my, but it is so cute what Movie 43 thinks is “dangerous” and “offensive”! Disgust with the human body (but mostly the female body); poop; period blood; a sexy-naked-lady iPod (but don’t fuck it because women are scary with their hairy vaginas that will eat you). The sex lives of superheroes comes under some scrutiny. The notion that male horniness could be so all-consuming that it might destroy the world is given due consideration. The idea that high school is the most humiliating time of one’s life is deployed with a sort of dreaded anti-anticipation — what horrors will our pubescent Tarantinos be in for in a couple of years? They even recycle the semen-hairgel joke from There’s Something About Mary, a movie that I guess our tween Orson Welleses only just snuck watching for the first time at their friend’s house last weekend.
Of course if it were adults who’d made this, their ideas about what’s dangerous and offensive would be sad and pathetic. Thankfully, we know that could never happen, because grownup Hollywood is making the truly dangerous movies, like that science fiction flick imagining a world without banksters, and that drama about the end of Western hegemony and the collapse of Big Oil. So it’s perfectly fine to let the kids have their fantasy about cinematic danger. The scamps.
Does this not sound like the film you saw? It appears there are different versions of Movie 43 in the U.S. and the U.K. We’re talking about that here.