If you have seen the trailer for this film you will be absolutely correct in assuming that it is attempting to channel 1977’s Kentucky Fried Movie. If you then make the mistake of actually going to see Movie 43 you will come away thinking “Seriously, Terrence Howard passed on appearing in Iron Man 2 to appear in this? What was he thinking?” The film is a series of short films that are ostensibly a Hollywood pitch from a screenwriter who wants to make his magnum opus film. What it turns out to be is a series of short sketches that try way too hard to be funny, but simply wind up falling far short of the mark. To be sure there are some very funny moments, but that are so few and far between that you find yourself wondering what happened.
As stated the set-up is a movie pitch were the writer/director is in the office of a Hollywood studio chief talking about his heartfelt movie with great dramatic moments, but what we wind up seeing are clips of scatological, off-color humor, and sophomoric gross-out bits, with little if any redeeming social value. No, this isn’t a good film, nor did it ever really have any hope of being so.
The segments include a couple out on a blind date where the male half of the encounter is described as a great catch, but has an unbelievable physical deformity that simply can’t be ignored. Then there is a teen who is being homeschooled by his parents who want him to experience all of the horribly rotten aspects of being in high school. Next up is a segment were a beautiful young woman wants her beloved to poop on her, and a store clerk whose intimate (but oddly weird) love chat is accidently broadcast over the store’s PA system. Other segments include superhero speed dating, another date sequence that goes awry with a game of Truth or Dare gets a bit too — let’s say — “energetic and a basketball game between White and Black high schoolers. There is more, but you know, why bother, none of it even rises to the level of an off night on SNL
According to reports, Movie 43 was not only filmed over a period of four years as the producers waited for specific actors to be free, but ultimately it was not screened for critics, nor was there much advanced publicity for it, clearly an indication that the studio had lost faith in it but was still attempting to recoup some of their investment. Needless to say the reaction to the film has been understandably overwhelmingly poor.
Ultimately this simply winds up being a star-studded train wreck. While it is loaded up with gleefully offensive gags, it really is mostly bereft of laughs. You would do well to simply avoid it
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing films for some 30 years. During that time, his movie reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web.