I can almost guarantee those who sit before Movie 43 are either entirely aware of the inevitable, or those who have merely spotted the starring talent and insinuate immediately off the bat that if Kate Winslet and Hugh Jackman sign up for it, it'll be worth their hard-earned cash. What I can truly determine happening regularly throughout audiences all over the globe after catching this anthologic comedy is a swarming sea of baffled faces. What is this? This is Movie 43. If it isn't a warning, then i myself am left ultimately baffled.
Two best friends set their computer wiz-kid brother on a challenge to find the upmost illegal, most banned video on the internet -- which they've aptly titled Movie 43, to shroud every sense of mystery behind the thing. As he begins to search, multiple videos are found, and shown to us, which leads to something ultimately bigger, the end of the world.
Movie 43's really come out of nowhere. A rushed release and minimal trailer coverage means that when this hit cinemas on our ponds, we just saw the talent. Everything else is a blur and therefore there are no expectations or hopes, if there were then you're kidding yourself. Approaching it with the upmost caution, we're flattened, battered and bruised beyond belief when we witness the first story, of which is the main core of Movie 43. A turd of substantial proportions with a script so perpetually awful and lazy that you don't particularly know how to take it: is this a spoof, or is this someone's idea of comedy? The latter truly frightens me.
I'll hand it to them, to garner such an impressive array of actors -- amidst the ones previously mentioned, Naomi Watts, Hallé Berry, Elizabeth Banks, Emma Stone, Chloe Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Richard Gere to name a few -- in a film that overall turns sour alarmingly quick, it shatters what sort of mindset they were in when they signed on to do such a project.
By no means is everything bad. When the initial core storyline has launched, the first video nasty we come to is Kate Winslet blind dating Hugh Jackman which ensues an easy laugh at the expense of these two A-listers, followed eventually by a grossly effective Tampax add, with extra bite, and ultimately the last saving grace, Hallé Berry and Stephen Merchant playing truth or dare. Whilst none of these require particular intelligence to write, it's laugh-out-loud for the sake of laughing at something that is essentially the most random short stories in an anthology ever created.
Emma Stone pairs with Keiran Culkin in a wasted segment; Richard Gere plays host as a blatant parallel to Steve Jobs with his crudely inappropriate creation the iBabe; Chloe Grace Moretz receives her first period on a date (and a white couch). It's three-year-old writing at best, most of which are unparalleled in how unfunny and painfully forced it actually is. Nothing's worse than forced comedy, let alone forced comedy which repeats the same mistake over and over again.
It's tasteless, occasionally offensive and regularly desperate, Movie 43 is one of those rarities that can easily be stored for later discussion in the category 'Are You Freaking Shitting Me?'. Confounding and witless for the most, the squandered cast do utterly nothing to help themselves, but then again, should they come out unscathed after knowing what they were getting themselves in? We sure didn't.
Verdict: Bar a handful of brief highlights, Movie 43 is painful, dirty and frankly unbelievable. It shatters the senses and undoubtedly leaves the viewer left in a state of absolute shock. Warning has been given.