daniel cohen reviews the latest from the avant grade duo …
Plot: After blowing a billion dollar movie budget for the Schlang Corporation, Tim (Tim Heidecker) and Eric (Eric Wareheim) are hunted down by the Corporate Executives. The two decide to run a broken down mall in hopes of making the money to pay back Schalng.
Based off their TV show, Tim And Eric’s Awesome Show, Great Job, this is an example of what happens when certain comedians get the filter taken off their jokes. The show was on Cartoon Network, so obviously there are certain things you just can’t do. Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim are like kids who went to prep school. If they were caught drinking or using drugs, they’d get expelled. This film is like their first day of college as they are finally given the freedom to do what they want, and on the first day of school, they go completely over the top. There’s a lot of stuff that bothers me about this film, but overall, I like their style of humor, but if there were just a few things edited here and there, I could have walked away with a more positive feeling.
While I never got one giant laugh, I did get a lot of consistent chuckles. Like many comedies, this film plays the game show, ‘Which Celebrity Cameo Will Show up Next!!!!’ Normally this would piss me off, but the cameos here are pretty funny. The two stand outs are Zach Galifianakis, who plays a weird mystical guru, and John C. Reilly as the sickly mentally impaired Taquito, who coughs a lot, and makes weird sounds as he shakes. I’ve seen this character done so many times, and I really wanted to hate this performance, but Reilly finally got to me, and I laughed. He does a pretty hysterical rap. There were other cameos I didn’t care for though, like Will Forte and Will Ferrell. Will Ferrell was being…Will Ferrell. I think we can all agree that we are way over this Will Ferrell.
But the most important part is the chemistry between the two leads, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim. Tim and Eric have a very specific comic delivery, which is very low key, and over enthusiastic when they need to be. It’s the type of comic acting that can’t be taught: you can either do it, or you can’t.
The absolute best scenes, and what I would imagine is the trademark of their show, are the random infomercial like interludes, complete with low budget graphics, and over-acted hammed up performances. This is how the movie begins, and these little ‘random theme moments’ are spliced into the film when you least expect it. This shows me that these guys are clever, which makes some of the jokes later on that much more infuriating.
Let’s get to the bad stuff. There are shock jokes all over the place, which is a style of humor I just can’t stand. There were two in particular that really pissed me off. One involves the piercing of a particular body part. That was bad, but nothing compared to the big shock sequence later on. It’s one of the most detestable comedic moments I’ve seen in a long time. It involves shit, and that’s all I’m going to say. It’s in terrible taste, and not even remotely close to being humorous. There is no clever set-up whatsoever. It’s merely just, ‘Hey, we’re a movie now, so let’s do this.’ It brings the film down significantly. This is probably a case of these guys being used to television, and struggling to fill time. But after seeing some of the jokes earlier in the film, they were better than this.
And even know I like the majority of the non shock jokes, some do fall flat. The film feels like rejected Conan O’Brien sketches at times. But the worst crime is that a lot of the jokes go on for way to long, even the good ones. For example, they create this really clever restaurant where everything is basically bread. We see it, and it’s really funny. Okay, move on. But no, they have to keep referencing the joke. Okay, now I don’t even like the joke anymore! This happens constantly throughout the film.
Ultimately, there are too many moments that are in poor taste. There are definitely some funny bits, but it’s not enough to sustain an entire movie. By the time we get to the third act, it completely loses steam, and the laughs are just gone. If I had to sum up this movie in one sentence, I would say this: It’s a D-level Wayne’s World.
Rating: 5.5 out of 10 (Passable Entertainment)