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From the screenwriters responsible for Date Movie and two of the Scary Movie entries comes Epic Movie—a pith-free parody that manages to cram in spoofs of just about every big-budget "epic" in the last several years.
Opening scenes introduce us to four orphans—Lucy, Edward, Susan and Peter—who're young-adult versions of the children in C.S. Lewis' The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Lucy is fleeing a crazed albino monk in the Louvre (The Da Vinci Code). Edward has been raised in a Mexican monastery headed by a wrestling monk (Nacho Libre). Susan is flying to Namibia to meet her new adoptive parents (Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie) when the plane is overrun by slithering serpents (Snakes on a Plane). Peter attends a school for mutants (X-Men), where he's been developing his superpower (sprouting chicken wings and squawking).
The orphans' individual stories intersect when each discovers a golden ticket promising an epic adventure to be delivered by Willy, a mash-up of Wonka (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) and Jigsaw (Saw).
The remainder of the story takes place in Narnia, er, Gnarnia, as it's renamed ("for legal reasons," we're told). Even as Edward finds himself spellbound by the carnal, voluptuous charms of the so-called White B--ch, the other "children" meet Mr. Tumnus and Harry Beaver (who live in a domestic partnership) and Aslo, a randy king who's mostly interested in sleeping with his subjects.
Scores of other films and celebs, from Harry Potter to Monty Python and from Lindsay Lohan to Mel Gibson, all take their lumps, too, before Epic Movie mercifully lurches to its conclusion.
A fearful Peter eventually turns from his cowardly ways in order to fight for Gnarnia. Mr. Tumnus is (briefly) willing to face an enemy to help the orphans escape (before changing his mind). The four orphans eventually learn that they're actually quadruplet twins (which is played off humorously since the quartet represents three different races), and affirm that family is what matters most to them.
Epic Movie cribs huge sections from Narnia, but (fortunately, for the most part) that original story's subtle spiritual symbolism is nowhere to be found in this bludgeoning. Unfortunately, Aslo thoroughly degrades Lewis' Aslan, the lion who represents Christ. Da Vinci's painting of The Last Supper includes each of the four orphans.
An Epic amount of sexual content saturates this Movie. Aslo is shown in bed with a woman. Then he tells the orphans he'll only rescue Edward if they do something for him. The next scene they're all in bed with him under the covers (bare shoulders visible). Thus, it's strongly implied that all three (Lucy, Susan and Peter) have sex with Aslo.
Mr. Tumnus and Harry Beaver carry on a homosexual relationship, and two scenes show them kissing. Mr. Tumnus tells Lucy he's half man, half goat, then shows Lucy a picture of his parents: a man and a goat. Similarly, Aslo says that he was the product of the famous Las Vegas performer Siegfried Fischbacher and one of his cats.
Visually, half-a-dozen scenes show women in bikinis; in several, they're dancing provocatively. The camera also focuses on the White B--ch's cleavage. To convince Edward to do her bidding, she flashes her breasts. (We see her from behind.) For a moment it's implied that a woman is performing oral sex. Two scenes picture the shape-shifting mutant Mystique (who wears only blue paint and is played by Carmen Electra) writhing suggestively. Mystique later seduces Peter, promising she can shape-shift into anything he wants. (He asks for certain body parts to be enlarged; we see them in bed.) Several scenes show men in thongs (including one Borat imitator who turns around to "face" the camera).
An older version of Harry Potter's friend Hermione is depicted as a pregnant, smoking Britney Spears who advises Lucy and Susan, "I hope you chicks are on the pill." She also comments about her sex life with the wizard. Potter himself grabs Susan's breasts.
Etcetera. (And the only thing that prevents me from adding ad infinitum is the fact that the film does eventually end.)
Slaps. Hits. Kicks. Falls. Most of the violence in Epic Movie—and there's actually quite a lot of it—resides in the slapstick realm. Some of it is non-lethal, and is played for laughs (such items as bottles and chairs are broken over people; unfortunates are kicked repeatedly in the groin).
Amping it up a bit, some of these poor excuses for characters get hurled through glass. Da Vinci's self-flagellating albino monk Silas flogs himself repeatedly (though without the graphic depiction of that film). The Snakes scene predictably finds serpents attached to a man's nose, a frantic woman's breasts and a man's crotch. A number of bad guys are dispatched bloodlessly by swords, arrows and knives—or by Lucy's magic wand, which simply vaporizes enemies.
On a darker note, Willy looks, acts, dances and sings like his normal chocolate-obsessed self—except for the fact that his candy is composed of body parts from kidnapped orphans.Scenes suggest that he's castrated Edward, pulled a tooth from Peter, ripped out Lucy's heart (from under a sheet) and decapitated Susan (after which her comically distorted head is encased in candy and packaged in a "Sour Yellow Head" box).
The orphans get branded with a "W" on their backsides, just as happens in Jacka--: Number Two. (We briefly see one guy's wound.) Lucy runs into a sheet of cellophane and almost suffocates. Mr. Tumnus tears Lucy's tongue away from a frozen street sign. (Her still-wiggling taster remains attached to the post.) Silas shoots Mr. Tumnus 10 times with a pistol. And Aslo breaks Silas' neck. Three of the four orphans are killed in battle (multiple arrows stick out of Susan) before Peter finds a way to bring them back to life.
Crude or Profane Language
The f-word is uttered once, and characters take God's or Jesus' names in vain a dozen-plus times. The s-word also pops up a dozen times. "B--ch" is used most frequently (about 25 times), usually referring to the film's villain. British vulgarities "bloody" and "b-gger" are used once or twice each. Crude slang is used to reference sexual anatomy. A scene with "Mel Gibson" finds him drunkenly reiterating a foul phrase he used when arrested by a female police officer. A song near the end of the credits, Lil Jon's "Bounce Dat Azz," includes perhaps another 20 or so usages of the word "a--."
Silas routinely speaks real Latin words that get mistranslated onscreen as rank phrases. ("Et tu, Brute," for example, becomes, "I'm Rick James, b--ch.")
Drug and Alcohol Content
Mr. Tumnus gives Lucy an MTV Cribs-style tour of his home, which includes shots of many bottles of Cristal (a champagne favorite of hip-hop artists) in his refrigerator. Instead of Turkish delight, the White B--ch gives Edward a "40" of malt liquor. At a party the night before the final battle, Edward and Lucy get drunk from a bong, then convince Susan to do the same. A long scene shows her drinking from a bong, then projectile vomiting. Jack (of Pirates of the Caribbean fame) drinks continually, and bottles of rum are never far from him.
Other Negative Elements
It wouldn't be a spoof movie if it didn't have scatological gags, would it? Two scenes involve characters urinating in the snow. Another urine-oriented scene revolves around a TV Mr. Tumnus has mounted in his toilet. Sagging pants reveal the top of one character's backside.
A cameo by a Kanye West impersonator takes swipes at President George W. Bush by complaining about wire taps, no gay marriage and no hurricane relief for black people. Edward has a giant tattoo of rapper 50 Cent on his back. The man who's murdered in the Louve has a "Thug Life" tattoo on his stomach (just like Tupac Shakur).
There are times I'm sure many Christians wish C.S. Lewis was still around to comment on what he might observe in our deteriorating culture. After seeing Epic Movie, however, I'm glad he's not here to witness how his beloved Narnia has been so sadly—and needlessly—perverted. Mr. Tumnus and Harry Beaver exchanging kisses is just the beginning of what this foul parody deems funny. Equally offensive is the idea of Aslo blackmailing and bedding three of the orphans. Suffice it to say that after the lion-man (as he's depicted) is killed, we're not a bit sorry when he's not resurrected. And those are just a few of the base moments in a film that felt much, much longer than its 86-minute running length.
I'm sure the film's creators will dismiss inevitable criticism—from those who care about Lewis' story in particular—claiming it comes from stuck-in-the-muds who just don't have a sense of humor. But the funny thing about Epic Movie is that it's neither epic nor funny. It feels twisted for the sake of being twisted. It shocks for the sake of shock. It's like a clueless adolescent who tells a dirty joke over and over again, not realizing (or not caring) that it was never funny in the first place.
Other Belief Systems
Readability Age Range
Kal Penn as Edward; Adam Campbell as Peter; Jennifer Coolidge as The White B--ch; Jayma Mays as Lucy; Faune Chambers as Susan; Crispin Glover as Willy; Hector Jimenez as Mr. Tumnus; Fred Willard as Aslo
20th Century Fox