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Disaster Movie Review

Disaster Movie… where do I start?

IMDB is a good place. There, it has a rating of 1.5 and it is #2 in the all time BOTTOM 100! And that’s with 24,000 votes (only Battlefield Earth and Epic Movie have more).

So – universally hated, then.

Unfortunately it’s not quite that simple. IMDB votes generally work well as part of a grand social experiment, but you do find a lot of the “herd mentality” working there. And as most voters and commenter’s are wannabe film critics their views are often clouded. Sorry IMDB!

Then again, Rotten Tomatoes works on critics scores, and it has 2% there – so perhaps they are right. In either case here’s one of the few “it’s not all that bad” reviews of Disaster Movie.

So let’s take a look at the movie, and forget about the rating for a moment.

Firstly, this is from Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer, who are responsible for many parody movies, starting with Spy Hard (which isn’t too bad) then working through Scary Movies (ok), Date Movie, Epic Movie, Meet the Spartans, and now this.

They’re not great movies – but they are entertaining in their own limited way.

Disaster Movie is pretty hit and miss. The plot, as it is, concerns a disaster hitting the city and then it follows a group of friends as they try to escape. Along the way, Will (Matt Lanter) discovers his on/off girlfriend Amy (Vanessa Minillo) is trapped in the museum, so they detour to save her.

So far so good. Unfortunately, Disaster Movie doesn’t parody a lot of disaster movies. The first scenes are reminiscent of the start of Cloverfield, where a party is interrupted, and there is a freaky weather system (The Day After Tomorrow) and a tornado (Twister), but that’s about all the “disaster movie” links I could notice.

It does start with a nightmare where Will is at “10,001 BC” and discovers he needs a Crystal Skull to save the world. But those aren’t exactly disaster movies, either.

Instead, like the previous films, it’s more of mixed bag of parodying pop culture icons, such as Hannah Montana, Amy Winehouse, Gladiator (Wolf), Justin Timberlake, Javier Bardem, Superheros (Hellboy, Rocket Man, Hulk), Prince Caspian, Speed Racer, Dr. Phil, The Love Guru, Flava Flav, Sex and the City, The Princess from Enchanted, Juno, Hancock, Kung Fu Panda,.

I’ve probably missed a few but you get the idea.

Some of it works, some of it doesn’t. I won’t bother listing all the skits but there is a fight with a naked Beowulf, a dance off for the princess’s heart, a fight with the Chipmunks, a fight with the Kung Fu Panda, a Hannah Montanna who refuses to die, Superheros killed by flying cows, a big High School Music song-and-dance routine (and a big song to finish the film off) and an extended Night At The Museum skit, an encounter with the Sex and the City girls (with Carrie played by a man) including a fight, Zohan style … and much more. There’s even a sub plot about Will’s inability to show his love for his girlfriend, but that’s best ignored.

So – is it worth 1.5 as IMDB seems to think?

Well, perhaps I was just in a good mood when I watched it but I’d say NO. It’s entertaining in it’s own way, and while by no means a classic or even average film it’s certainly watchable. I passed a hour and half with this film amicably enough.

There’s no real comedy as such, since it relies on lookalikes and parodies of famous people for it’s laughs, and the plot is laughable, but as a string of simplistic visual gags it works, in a brain dead kind of way. If you’ve seen Epic Movie etc you’ll know what to expect, and since the film makers keep making these they obviously make a profit, and people must go to see them.

There’s not that many films in the parody genre – only really those by these guys and those by Jim Abrahams and David Zuker (Airplane!, Police Squad). The latter are superior, but it’s interesting to note they have a “SciFi Movie” slated for 2009 and were responsible for “Superhero Movie”…

Rating: 5 / 10 – not great, but it IS watchable.


Rotten Tomatoes