Disaster Movie Review: All in the Name

I must admit that it is difficult to find the right words to describe the way I felt walking out of Disaster Movie, the latest film by writers Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, creators of the Scary Movie series. In short, I have to say honestly that Disaster Movie fully exceeded my expectations. Before diving into my reasoning, though, let me take you on a brief tour of the film.

The plot of Disaster Movie is loosely modeled after Cloverfield. The primary character, Will (Matt Lanter), has just broken up with his girlfriend Amy (Vanessa Minnillo). At the same time that Will throws a sweet 16 birthday party for himself (he’s 25 years old), the city is thrown into the chaos of a meteor shower than rains debris from space capable of crushing superheroes and superstars.

While most of the citizens evacuate to a safer place, Will and three friends choose instead to make their way to the Museum of Natural History where Amy works and has been pinned under a large Egyptian statue. As they travel, disasters of all types hinder their progress. Freezing winds a la The Day After Tomorrow force them to seek shelter. But that leads to becoming trapped in a warehouse with the threatening cast of Sex in the City. Following those small disasters, the group is threatened by rabid singing chipmunks, superheroes with no pants, a sex-crazed Batman and many other twisted scenes from this year’s movies.

When Will finally reaches Amy at the Museum of Natural History, he learns the truth about the apocalyptic conditions – an ancient crystal skull has been stolen and must be returned to its proper location to save the world. Will and Amy fight their way through the museum and replace the skull, effectively ending the chaos and providing just enough remaining screen time for a small wedding officiated by The Love Guru and a quick musical number reminiscent of a recent Sarah Silverman/Matt Damon video.

To be fair, there were one or two things about Disaster Movie that made me smile. I enjoyed the play on High School Musical, but probably not for the reason the writers intended. I liked it because the singing and dancing were decent enough to be funny in the context of this kind of movie. I was also pleasantly surprised that the movie was only about 80 minutes long instead of the 90 minutes I had planned.

So, to return to my introductory statement, I must say that I planned to dislike Disaster Movie. However, as a movie it was so unbearable that it completely exceeded my expectations. I hoped that it would be funny enough to forgive the fact that it would be plot-less and short on talent, but in that I was also disappointed.

Even after setting my expectations as low as possible I was still unable to find much that was entertaining or funny about Disaster Movie. Many of the sight gags are repulsive pregnancy references and much of the humor is so blindingly obvious that by the time the punch is delivered, the joke is already old.

Disaster Movie is exactly what its title claims.

– Blake Schwendiman

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