- Rated PG-13
- Buy the DVD
All photos © Lionsgate
Reviewed by Jason Zingale
Using “Cloverfield” as its main inspiration, the film stars Matt Latner as Will, the leader of a group of twentysomethings struggling to survive when Earth becomes the target of every natural disaster imaginable. Matt is on a mission to rescue his girlfriend, Amy (Vanessa Minnillo), from certain death, but if he hopes to stop the impending doomsday first, he’ll have to return the fabled Crystal Skull to its pedestal at the Museum of Natural History. Joining him on his journey is his best friend Calvin (G. Thang), a pregnant smartass named Juney (Crista Flanagan), and an Enchanted Princess (Nicole Parker) who’s really just a crack whore looking for her next fix.
As we’ve all come to expect from these types of films, “Disaster Movie” is loaded with more pop culture references than an episode of “Best Week Ever.” For the most part, they don’t even make sense. There are throwaway references to McLovin and Anton Chigurh (because, well, they were both in popular movies from the past year), Iron Man, Hellboy and the Incredible Hulk are all hit with plastic cows within the span of three minutes, and Carrie Bradshaw is – cue the laugh track, please – played by a dude. There’s also a “Speed Racer” joke involving Michael Jackson in the trunk with Chim-Chim, and Beowulf stops by to pick up where “Meet the Spartans” left off with its never-ending supply of gay jokes. And because that still isn’t enough material to fill its embarrassingly short 75-minute runtime, “Disaster Movie” makes an art out of running jokes into the ground. A saber-toothed Amy Winehouse doesn’t just burp in some guy's face once. She does it again, and again, and again. And because it wasn’t funny the first 13 times, she does it once more for good measure. Hey, would you look at that, we just wasted five minutes.
What’s truly incredible, however, is that Friedberg and Seltzer include references to things that don’t even deserve to be parodied, like “High School Musical,” “My Super Sweet 16,” and a commercial for some product called HeadOn. It just doesn’t make sense, especially when the film has the potential to be better. Nicole Parker, in particular, delivers a memorable performance as the too-happy-not-to-be-on-drugs Enchanted Princess, while a bit involving Alvin and the Chipmunks singing death metal will have you rolling on the ground in laughter. You see, Friedberg and Seltzer can be funny. Now, if only they could do it on a more consistent basis, they might actually make a movie that isn’t such a – sorry, but it has to be said – disaster.
Unrated Cataclysmic Edition DVD Review:
It’s doubtful that anyone would waste time watching the special features for “Disaster Movie” after sitting through the movie itself, but for those interested, the single-disc release includes a host of pointless extras including a cast and crew commentary, a making-of featurette with pop-up facts like, um, the actors’ middles names, and two featurettes starring the incredibly annoying G. Thang. Also included are sing-a-longs for the “High School Musical” and “I’m F**cking Matt Damon” sequences, but if you make it that far, there’s something terribly wrong with you.