Movie 43 Review: Not Even With a Ten Foot Pole



This is the way the world ends.  This is the way the world ends.  Not with a bang, but with this F*cking Aweful movie.

Now full disclosure, I haven’t seen New Years Eve or Valentines Day or any other of the slew of movies in the past ten years or so that has figured that if you cram enough big names into a movie, you don’t have to give any semblance of an effort to make it not suck.  When I saw the first trailers for Movie 43, I along with a few other hope-filled bloggers thought that maybe, just maybe, there was a chance that by bringing that idea into a raunchy comedy could at least result in a lot of dumb fun.  To quote the trailer for last year’s Prometheus, “We Were Wrong, We Were So Wrong!”.  What we end up with is a movie that truly has to be seen to be believed, but should nevertheless be seen by no one in the sheer interest of the maintenance of our collective sanity.  Movie 43 realizes and acknowledges just how truly terrible it is, but for reasons that escape me it decides to just go ahead and keep doing it anyway.

The Plot:

Explain to me again why we all have to be here?

Explain to me again why we all have to be here?

As usual, I’m posting the IMDb description verbatim.

“A series of interconnected short films follows three kids as they search the depths of the Internet to find the most banned movie in the world.”

If you’ve seen the movie (God have mercy upon your soul), you might notice one small detail;  THAT”S NOT WHAT THE F*CKING MOVIE IS ABOUT!!!!  I have no idea if this is a mistake on the part of IMDb’s editors or if they were simply on mushrooms for the screening and got a very different perspective on it, but here’s the actual plot summary.

The "I'm going to kill my agent" look

The “I’m going to kill my agent” look

A crazed, wannabe screenwriter sneaks into a Hollywood producer’s office and holds him at gunpoint while he rambles of a slough of terrible movie ideas.

What’s interesting about the actual plot of the movie is that it’s a perfect metaphor for the movie itself.  Dennis Quaid represents the insane douchebags who wrote this movie and Greg Kinnear represents the audience.  Like the audience, he is at first open minded, then confused, then angry, and then held hostage against his will while waiting for the last hour to get through.  Admittedly instead of a gun to the audience’s head we have the simple fact that we just paid $11 bucks to see this piece of crap and owe it to our pocketbooks to wait and see if there’s anything near the end that might make it a little more bearable.

Spoiler Alert:  There’s not.

The Players:

From Gosling to McCulkin, dafuq Emma?

From Gosling to McCulkin, dafuq Emma?

No, I’m not doing this.  Because of the routine, schizophrenic shifts of the movie itself, not a single character is developed beyond the level of a character in an SNL sketch.  While this is expected and ultimately intended, the only reason a show like Saturday Night Live functions without multi-faceted characters is that one sketch in three is pretty funny.  In Movie 43‘s case, it’s not one in three, or one in five, not even one in the full dozen segments the film puts forth.  I would be able to count the number of actual funny moments in the film on my hand by doing the Spider-Man webslinging moment.  In fact, here they are:

Blind hogs find more acorns than Movie 43

Blind hogs find more acorns than Movie 43

1.  Greg Kinnear’s WTF reaction whenever Dennis Quaid finishes a pitch

2. Halle Berre blowing out a blind kid’s candles at his birthday party

3. Seth MacFarlane as himself pitching a new project that is “Sort of like a combination between Family Guy and Schindler’s List” called The Holla!-Cost.

Everything else is absolute one dimensional shit; occasionally literally.  Having watched both this and A Haunted House in the same week, I’m pretty sure that my moral fiber levels have involuntarily dropped significantly.

How…  How Did This Happen?

Again, Subtle...

Again, Subtle…

It pains me, but I understand how A Haunted House came to be.  It’s a visibly low budget spoof comedy featuring a small cast of low budget actors, and it didn’t take much for it to become profitable.  Movie 43 however, features a cast of over two dozen recognizable names, six of which have a dozen of which have won or been nominated for an Oscar, Golden Globe, or Emmy in the past decade.  Now I understand that even the most prestigious names in Hollywood can be swayed to spend one day of shooting for a terrible movie in exchange for a quick buck, but you’d at least think that the sort of self-degredation this movie requires of it’s starts wouldn’t be cheap, right?  “Gee, if that’s the case then I wonder how high the budget for this movie was?”

6… Million… Dollars.

Aside from the mangling vagina fan, I'm pretty sure these would sell like hot cakes

Aside from the mangling vagina fan, I’m pretty sure these would sell like hot cakes

That’s right, according to the studio’s reports, the film was shot on a budget of $6 million, also known as about a quarter of the budget of your average rom-com while featuring about 6 times the amount of famous names on the poster.  Even if you assume that the budget was spent exclusively on the cast (which doesn’t seem like that far of a stretch as far as assumptions go), that would be less than $250,000 per person, aka about 1/20th of what Kathryn Heigl got for last year’s shitshow “One For the Money“.  Now I realize that cameo appearances require less work, but for a cast of people who still have long, successful careers ahead of them, is a quarter of a million dollars really worth associating yourself with trash like this?

The Verdict:  2.0/10  Symphony of Suck

– Crude, Disgusting, unimaginitive, and shallow individual segments


– Completely squanders an incredible amount of combined acting talent

+/- Acknowledges how terrible it is in the frame, but doesn’t cease to be terrible

Critical Consensus:

Rotten Tomatoes: 4%

IMDb: 4.4/10

Metacritic: 19/100

Other Reviews:

Fogs’ Movie Reviews: C

The Code is Zeek: 1.5/5

The Focused Filmographer: 0.5/5

Dan the Man Movie Reviews: 1/10

MyReelPOV: “ridiculous, awful… Incredibly lazy”

Average: 2.5/10 – Horrible

About r361n4

I'm a student at the University of Washington Majoring Business. I've always loved movies and my goal is to work on the financial side of the film industry. Until then though, I figure I'll spare my friends from my opinions and shout them from a digital mountaintop for anyone who's interested. After all, if a tree falls in a forest and nobody blogs about it, does it really happen?
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23 Responses to Movie 43 Review: Not Even With a Ten Foot Pole

  1. Corey says:

    This is why we have you. Sounds brutal.

  2. wordschat says:

    I get a kick out of Scary Movie, Not Another Disaster Movie etc so I may see this as a lark.

  3. I really want to see this so I can review it. But I don’t want to waste gas.

  4. Ugh. They clearly went with the no marketing thing to try and make people intrigued about it, but it was clearly just so people don’t realise how awful it is. Also, apparently there are two versions of it – I think the UK has a different version, at least. So that might be where the problem of the different plots has come from.

    • r361n4 says:

      Lol, interesting, I had no idea that was the case. If by some misfortune someone in the UK happens to see this I’ll ave to ask them. Thanks for the info 🙂

  5. I cant back you up in full here. I’ll be honest. Several of the skits made me laugh. If it weren’t the big name stars they had doing it, well, it probably would have failed completely. But I started laughing at what Hugh Jackman did and maybe it carried over from there.

    Unfortunately there’s a lot that’s still reprehensible. So the best I could do is give it a middling grade, but I didnt find it completelly horrifying… 😦

    • r361n4 says:

      Just read your review, I can understand a middling score I guess but that’s more of an exception for the comedy genre than anything. Bottom line, if it occasionally makes you laugh it’s doing it’s job regardless of how stupid it is. The only thing is there were very few times that I laughed without feeling ashamed of accidentally doing so

  6. Wow! What a gratuitous misuse of a strong cast.

  7. Yeesh. Way to take one for the team.

  8. Not one good review from anyone, It makes me curious to see it haha 😀

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  10. Maddie says:

    I saw the movie last night and there were several scenes that made me laugh but the way the clips were tied together created a terrible plot. The iBabe Apple spoof had to be one of my favorites…as I’m sitting here posting from my iPad. We do love anything Apple.

    I would suggest you get sufficiently high prior to the movie, since that is likely a direct cause of my laughter throughout the flick.

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