Disaster Movie

2008, Movie, PG-13, 90 mins

Review

DISASTER MOVIE
starstarstarstar
Yet another entry in the Jason Friedberg-Aaron Seltzer series of movie spoofs, this scattershot collection lame gags is the definition of disposable entertainment: Lazy, superficially au courant and utterly forgettable.

Commitment-phobe Will (Matt Lanter) breaks up with his girlfriend Amy (Vanessa Minnillo) on the day of his Super Duper Sweet 16 party – yes, he's 25 and a guy, but better late than never and hey, why should girls have all the fun? – and is haunted by the thought that he's just made the biggest mistake of his life. Amy comes to the party with her new beau, a Calvin Klein underwear model, but leaves in a snit just before meteors begin raining down on the Earth. Will, his best friend Calvin (Gary Johnson), Calvin's girlfriend Lisa (Kim Kardashian) and the hugely pregnant and relentlessly hip 'n' snarky Juney (Crista Flanagan) try to escape the city, but Will turns back to rescue Amy, now trapped at the Museum of Natural History and holding the key that could save the world.

Like MEET THE SPARTANS (2008), EPIC MOVIE (2007), DATE MOVIE (2006) and the SCARY MOVIE franchise, DISASTER MOVIE isn't parody a la AIRPLANE! (1980) and HOTSHOTS! (1991): Rather than poking knowing and affectionate fun at genre conventions, it simply strings together a series of witless, juvenile gags predicated on throwaway fads, catchphrases and celebrity scandals. American Gladiators, Dr. Phil, Hannah Montana, Amy Winehouse, the HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL movies and MTV's My Super Sweet 16 jostle for screen time with WANTED, INDIANA JONES AND THE CRYSTAL SKULL, HANCOCK, CLOVERFIELD, THE RUINS, BEOWULF, Christopher Nolan's BATMAN movies, JUNO, SUPERBAD, NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, 10,000 B.C., the SEX AND THE CITY movie, ENCHANTED, ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS and IRON MAN. The allusions are so cheap and lazy that characters are called upon to make sure everyone gets it by declaring "Look everyone, it's Jessica Simpson," "Oh my God, Hannah Montana's dead" and, most memorably, "It's a TWISTER," which sets up a series of sight gags involving miscellaneous superheroes and a falling cow. The only bright spots are Christopher Lennertz's pitch-perfect musical pastiches: His lampoons of the HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL series' blandly competent pop tunes, Alvin and the Chipmunks-style novelty numbers (Lennertz scored the abominable 2007 Chipmunks reboot) and, most notably, the viral-video phenomenon "I'm F—king Matt Damon" are everything the rest of the film isn't: Witty, clever and steeped in an insider's knowledge of entertainment-industry clichés ripe for surgical skewering. He deserves a better forum for his considerable gifts. leave a comment --Maitland McDonagh

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