Shrouded in secrecy since the first trailer leapt onto the internet late last year, Movie 43 (2013) was a film that perked up interest just by the sheer talent presented on-screen – and with it, the promise of a film the likes of which we have never seen before. In all honesty, we should have known better. Any film that includes the directors/minds behind The Three Stooges, Daddy Day Care, Little Nicky and Brett Ratner, should always be approached with a huge air of caution. But with all those names being thrown at us on a daily basis on adverts and posters, it was a film that, for either good reasons or bad, was always going to draw a lot of attention.
Sadly, what could have been a risky but ultimately successful concoction of acting talent is exactly what many had probably feared: a horrific, unfunny mess. Kudos to the filmmakers scenes for getting such stellar talent involved in this – but you have to wonder why? Why would soon-to-be-possible-Oscar-champ/Wolverine Hugh Jackman agree to a skit where he has to have testicles dangling from his neck? Why would Kate Winslet agree to sit opposite him?
Furthermore, one should ask why Elizabeth Banks, producer of Pitch Perfect (2012) and one the funniest women in the industry, is directing a skit with an animated masturbating cat that defecates…on her? The answers are as elusive as they are mind-numbing. There are a couple of semi-amusing breaks in proceedings, with the ‘Super-Hero Speed Dating’ segment being almost passable (Justin Long and Jason Sudeikis are Batman and Robin as they hit on gorgeous-looking Kristen Bell’s Supergirl), and a fake Jaws-spoof tampon ad gives a chuckle. But these are tiny lapses in an otherwise misjudged and hideously unfunny disaster for almost all involved.
Sadly, this is where any shred of a recommendation ends. Any film that still thinks fountains of faeces, penis tattoos or Gerald Butler are still funny deserves every bad word it gets. It will not doubt make some money at the box office during its run, and some will find it hilarious, but it will take some beating as this year’s worst film. Thankfully, Grown-Ups 2 (2013) is out this summer.