A man walks into a movie producer's office with a pitch for a film. The producer doesn't like the idea. So the man pitches other ideas. And the producer doesn't like those either. The man then pulls a gun and makes the movie producer listen to still more pitches. The movie producer—now a hostage—listens. And moviegoers watch as the ideas play out.
But before I write down even the sketchiest details about what those ideas/skits/vignettes are, I must warn you, review reader, that the contents of virtually every aspect of what the man "shows" the producer are flagrantly foul. Strike that. They're obscene. And even summarized descriptions of Movie 43's most basic plot points can be disturbing.
In other words, the movie producer didn't have a choice. You do—whether you watch this movie or even whether you continue reading this review.
These are the things the movie producer is assaulted with:
"The Catch" — A successful but single career woman lands a blind date with a renowned businessman. When he removes his scarf at dinner, she's horrified to see that he has a scrotum dangling beneath his chin.
"Homeschooled" — Psychotic homeschooling parents want to ensure that their son doesn't miss out on anything he'd experience in a public high school. So they bully him, swear at him and call him a "f-g." Then mom plays the part of a girl who wants her "first time" to be with him, while dad plays the role of a gay friend coming out to him.
"The Proposition" — A young man is thrilled to pop the question to the woman of his dreams … until she tells him that she wants him to defecate on her.
"Veronica" — A checker at a grocery store engages in a passionate, detailed and sexually explicit conversation with his ex-girlfriend in a failed attempt to woo her back. Everyone in the store hears as he's speaking right into the PA system.
"iBabe" — A tech company's new MP3 player, crafted to look like a life-size naked woman, is creating legal woes because guys keep trying to have sex with it. (The figure is anatomically correct … with a whirling cooling fan installed in the machine's vagina.)
"Superhero Speed Dating" — Robin just wants to get a date. But Batman keeps sabotaging him … by looking up Supergirl's skirt, among many other nasty things.
"Machine Kids" — A public service announcement crusading against workplace violence reminds watchers that we should be kind to machines. Why? Because small children live in them and operate them.
"Middle School Date" — A seventh-grader is just starting to make out with a boy on his couch when she gets her period for the first time … and bleeds profusely all over the house.
"Tampax" — Two sultry models in bikinis go for a swim in the ocean. One gets chomped to death by a great white shark. Then the commercial reminds women that there's only one tampon that's genuinely leak-proof.
"Happy Birthday" — After a man's best friend sleeps with his girlfriend, the cheating friend tries to make up for it by kidnapping for him an exceedingly violent leprechaun and a fairy who likes to perform oral sex.
"Truth or Dare" — A man and a woman on a blind date at a restaurant initiate a game of truth or dare. By the time they're done, he has an ejaculating-penis tattoo on his cheek and has had plastic surgery to make him look Asian. Meanwhile, she's made guacamole dip with her breast and gotten impossibly large breast implants.
"Victor's Glory" — A black coach in the 1950s attempts to convince his team that they'll win a basketball game simply because they're black … and because they have enormous genitalia. They win 103 to 1.
"Beezel" — This mock TV sitcom involves a man, his animated cat and the woman he loves. Beezel, the male cat, fantasizes about all manner of sex with his owner. Eventually Beezel and the woman take turns trying to kill each other while vying for his affection.
Passing reference is made to Jesus having created black men … and their "large" genitals. A sexually active woman jokes that she'll see her ex in church.
"iBabe" features breast nudity and full-frontal nudity. Much conversation revolves around what happens to men's anatomy when they try to have sex with the so-called MP3 player—which is actually "portrayed" by two live, naked women. "The Catch" shows the man's chin-mounted testicles as he eats and tries to kiss his date.
In other sketches we see a high school boy's mother try to get him to kiss her; Batman sees and makes multiple crude comments about Supergirl's genitals; Wonder Woman talks about broken condoms and an abortion at Planned Parenthood; a woman asks her boyfriend to defecate on her for sexual purposes, a couple has sex. We see and hear jokes revolving around bestiality, masturbation, oral sex, gay sex, peeping Toms, anatomical shapes and sizes, circumcision and sexually transmitted infections. We hear f-words used in sexual contexts. A middle school date involves kissing and making out.
We see the bloodied, fingerless hand of a guy who had inappropriate contact with iBabe. Leprechauns make multiple, graphic threats against their captors' genitals; fistfights ensue, and a man loses an eye. The mythological creatures are eventually shot, put in trash bags and thrown away.
As mentioned, a giant shark bites a woman in two. We watch as her severed limbs fall back into the water and blood sprays. Also as mentioned, the would-be moviemaker holds a producer hostage at gunpoint. Then, when that producer learns about an executive at his studio having sex with his wife, he takes the gun and threatens his boss. A shootout (of sorts) ensues.
The cat Beezel runs over his owner's girlfriend with a truck and shoots her with a shotgun. She in turn tries to kill him with repeated blows from a shovel, which knock him into a backyard birthday party. The children at the party attack the woman to try to save the cat. A man runs into the street and gets hit by a car, spraying excrement all over the car and the intersection.
A basketball game between blacks and whites features players hitting one another. There's a fight in a bar.
Crude or Profane Language
Close to 65 f-words, a half-dozen of which are paired with "mother." The s-word tally stands at 25. God's name is taken in vain nearly 20 times, often paired with "d‑‑n." We hear racial slurs and nearly 30 crude/rude/vulgar/obscene references to the male and female anatomy, including "p‑‑‑y," "d‑‑k," "c‑‑k," "c‑‑ks‑‑‑er," "pr‑‑k" and two uses of the c-word.
Drug and Alcohol Content
People drink wine, beer and vodka, some of it at a high school party. Somebody smokes.
Other Negative Elements
The homeschooling parents tie their boy to a flagpole with duct tape, write "FRESHMAN" in excrement on his mostly naked body and force him to yell out humiliating obscenities. A young girl's first period is played off as humor as she bleeds all over a living room, smearing blood on furniture and walls.
Beezel sprays a woman with a massive amount of urine. The cat also breaks a thermometer, eats the mercury, then vomits.
Fetid. Unfunny. Skip. That's my three-word conclusion.
If you must have a slightly longer version, here it is: Take the nastiest, least-funny Saturday Night Live skit that's ever been produced, then add hundreds of profanities, bestiality, incest, testicles, bullying, full-frontal nudity, homophobic slurs, excrement fetishes, penis tattoos, prosthetic breasts dipped in guaca—
Let's go back to my first instinct. Fetid. Unfunny. Skip.
A postscript: What compelled Movie 43's long litany of stars—many of them A-listers—to participate in its naughty, nasty and obscene gags is a massive mystery. But in case you didn't read the credits at the top of this review, I'm going to list them again here, as a sort of wall of shame entry at the very end of this review: Hugh Jackman, Richard Gere, Halle Berry, Emma Stone, Gerard Butler, Elizabeth Banks, Uma Thurman, Kristen Bell, Naomi Watts, Dennis Quaid, Chris Pratt, Kate Winslet, Anna Faris, Josh Duhamel, Chloë Grace Moretz, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Patrick Warburton, Seann William Scott, Liev Schreiber, Justin Long, Kieran Culkin, Kate Bosworth, Jason Sudeikis, Leslie Bibb, Bobby Cannavale, Terrence Howard, Johnny Knoxville, Seth MacFarlane and Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi.
Other Belief Systems
Readability Age Range
Hugh Jackman as Davis; Halle Berry as Emily; Emma Stone as Veronica; Chloë Grace Moretz as Amanda; Gerard Butler as Chaun; Elizabeth Banks as Amy; Kristen Bell as Supergirl; Naomi Watts as Samantha; Chris Pratt as Jason; Kate Winslet as Juliet Hulme; Anna Faris as Vanessa; Richard Gere as Boss; Josh Duhamel as Anson; Uma Thurman as Lois Lane; Christopher Mintz-Plasse as Mikey; Patrick Warburton as Dad; Seann William Scott as Brian; Liev Schreiber as Robert; Justin Long as Robin; Kieran Culkin as Neil; Kate Bosworth as Arlene; Jason Sudeikis as Batman; Leslie Bibb as Wonder Woman; Bobby Cannavale as Superman; Terrence Howard as Coach Jackson; Johnny Knoxville as Pete; Dennis Quaid as Charlie; Seth MacFarlane and Nicole 'Snooki' Polizzi as Themselves
Peter Farrelly (The Three Stooges), Steven Brill (Drillbit Taylor), Steve Carr (Paul Blart: Mall Cop), Bob Odenkirk (The Brothers Solomon), Brett Ratner (Tower Heist), Elizabeth Banks, Rusty Cundieff, James Duffy, Griffin Dunne, Patrik Forsberg, James Gunn and Jonathan van Tulleken
January 25, 2013
Adam R. Holz Adam R. Holz