Date Movie received some of the worst reviews of 2006 and Epic Movie the same for 2007. The first thing you notice about Epic Movie is that it is not an epic movie at all. When you think of epic movies, what comes to mind is the Biblical spectaculars of the 1950s like The Ten Commandments (1956) and Ben Hur (1959) or else the disaster movies of the 1970s like The Poseidon Adventure (1972) and The Towering Inferno (1974). One does not have a problem with the term epic movie being extended to the recent spate of heroic fantasy adventures, most notably Peter Jacksons The Lord of the Rings trilogy The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) et al. Unfortunately, Epic Movie is not for the most part a parody of any of these types of epic movies. What it is is a parody of a stack of fantasy films that came out in about the twelve months prior that have been run together without the slightest coherence, let alone for the most part any connection to the notion of being an epic movie. [Ironically, Friedberg and Seltzers subsequent movie parody Meet the Spartans (2008) has a much more legitimate entitlement to the term epic movie than anything here does].
Thus we get parodies of:- The Da Vinci Code (2006) Jayma Mays grows up with an uncle who works in The Louvre and rises from the dead to give her clues by playing Charades, the albino enjoys the flagellation and there are jokes about Tom Hankss haircut; Nacho Libre (2006) Kal Penn grows up in a Mexican orphanage with a priest who is a masked wrestler; Snakes on a Plane (2006) James Walker Sr does a lame parody of Samuel L. Jacksons one-liners; the X-Men films Carmen Electra spoofing Mystiques seduction scene from X2 (2003), while Adam Campbell develops chicken wings in a parody of Ben Fosters Angel in X-Men: The Last Stand (2006); of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) with Crispin Glover doing an impression of Johnny Depp and the river of chocolate predictably turning out to be coming from a sewer pipe; the bullet in the eye scene from Superman Returns (2006); David Lehre conducting a parody of Ashton Kutchers ultra-annoying manner in tvs Punkd (2003-7); jokes about the Harry Potter films; a lookalike of Johnny Depps Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean films and the rolling mill wheel scene from Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Mans Chest (2006); while the remote control from Click (2006) turns up in the middle of the battlefield. The bulk of the film is set around a parody of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (2005) and includes rapping fauns and numerous bestiality jokes. There are even appearances of lookalikes of V from V for Vendetta (2006), Daniel Craigs blonde James Bond from Casino Royale (2006) and of Sacha Baron Cohens Borat from the hit mockumentary Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (2006).
The most notable thing about these is how most of these references are only about films that came out in 2006. And what most of these films have to do with epic movies is a scratch of the head. There are surely other films of recent note like Gladiator (2000), Alexander (2004), Troy (2004) or King Kong (2005) that would have more aptly fitted the description of epic movie than any of the films quoted here. And while Friedberg and Seltzer spoof The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, the great surprise is that they never touch the massively successful and even more popular Peter Jackson The Lord of the Rings. With equal arbitrariness, there are a handful of jokes about real world figures a Paris Hilton lookalike gets crushed early on in the show; The White Bitchs policies seem to be making some sort of snide jibe at George W. Bush, and if you sit through the end credits a post-DUI Mel Gibson look-alike turns up in the cell with Kal Penn.
Date Movies failing was that it was a series of movie quotes in search of something funny to say. Seltzer and Friedberg seemed to mistake simply quoting a scene from another film for a joke in itself. Little has changed here. What humour there is is pitched down at a frequently crude level gags about peeing in the snow, lots of bestiality jokes regarding the fauns and beavers that go on and on, Aslo taking the kids to bed with him and so forth. Sadly, there is nothing in Epic Movie that is funny at all. There is nothing to it as a film beyond making a barrage of references to other films of recent memory and peppering these with lavatory humour. There are also a number of irritating rap songs run over much of the film.
Earlier, Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer had co-written the film spoof Spy Hard (1996). They subsequently went onto do exactly the same as they did in Epic Movie, spoofing the films that came out in the last year, with Meet the Spartans (2008), Disaster Movie (2008), Vampires Suck (2010), The Starving Games (2013), Best Night Ever (2013) and Superfast! (2015).
(Winner in this sites Worst Films of 2007 list).