- compiled by Peter T. Chattaway Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2007 1 Jan
Fans of C. S. Lewis's The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe spent so many years hoping that someone would turn it into a feature film, that we may not have considered what might happen once it became just another offering at the multiplex. Now comes the inevitable parody: a crass spoof featuring Fred Willard and Jennifer Coolidge (both veterans of the American Pie movies and Christopher Guest's mockumentaries) as vulgar stand-ins for Aslan and the White Witch.
The film is called Epic Movie even though many of the movies it mocks—including Nacho Libre, Snakes on a Plane and Borat—would not qualify as "epic" by most definitions. This movie was not shown to critics before it came out and topped the charts last week, but a few intrepid Christian critics reviewed it all the same.
Adam R. Holz (Plugged In) writes, "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. … 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."
David DiCerto (Catholic News Service) dismisses it quickly: "Directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer elicit few chuckles amid a mostly witless slog of sophomoric slapstick and lowbrow humor, amounting to an epic waste of time."
So far, the mainstream critics who have bothered to see the film have all given it a thumbs-down.